The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the United Nations specialised agency fostering tourism as a vehicle for equal, inclusive and sustainable development, unveiled its 2022 Best Tourism Villages.  The list gathers 32 villages from 18 countries (136 villages from 57 member states were nominated in the first place) which employ tourism as driver of development through preservation and promotion of community knowledge and goods. UNWTO recognises the commitment of the 32 villages in enhancing innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental – and a focus on developing tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The evaluation of the villages has been entrusted to an independent Advisory Board according to the following domains:

  • Cultural and Natural Resources
  • Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources
  • Economic Sustainability
  • Social Sustainability
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Tourism Development and Value Chain Integration
  • Governance and Prioritisation of Tourism
  • Infrastructure and Connectivity
  • Health, Safety, and Security

UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili commented the publication of the lists as follows: “For rural communities everywhere, tourism can be a true game changer in providing jobs, supporting local businesses and keeping traditions alive. The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO showcase the power of the sector to drive economic diversification and create opportunities for all outside of big cities.”

In addition to the 32 villages already mentioned, 20 villages will be included in the UNWTO Upgrade Programme, a set of villages that didn’t provide a sufficient score in all criteria but will be supported to fill their gaps. The 52 villages will enter the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Global Network already including 115 villages from all over the world since 2021.

AlUla, Saudi Arabia, one of the UNWTO Best Villages, will host the Award Ceremony on 27-28 February 2023 providing also occasion for the first physical meeting of the UNWTO Network of Best Tourism Villages. The next edition of the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO will open in February 2023.

Here goes the list of Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO 2022:

  • Zell am See, Austria
  • Wagrain, Austria
  • Puqueldón, Chile
  • Dazhai, China
  • Jingzhu, China
  • Choachí, Colombia
  • Aguarico, Ecuador
  • Angochagua, Ecuador
  • Choke Mountains Ecovillage, Ethiopia
  • Mestia, Georgia
  • Kfar Kama, Israel
  • Sauris-Zahre, Italy
  • Isola del Giglio, Italy
  • Umm Qais, Jordan
  • Creel, Mexico
  • El Fuerte, Mexico
  • Ksar Elkhorbat, Morocco
  • Moulay Bouzerktoune, Morocco
  • Lamas, Peru
  • Raqchi, Peru
  • Castelo Novo, Portugal
  • Pyeongsa-ri, Republic of Korea
  • Rasinari, Romania
  • AlUla Old Town, Saudi Arabia
  • Bohinj, Slovenia
  • Rupit, Spain
  • Alquézar, Spain
  • Guadalupe, Spain
  • Murten, Switzerland
  • Andermatt, Switzerland
  • Birgi, Türkiye
  • Thái Hải, Vietnam

The villages included in the Upgrade Programme are:

  • Trevelin, Argentina
  • Krupa na Vrbasu, Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Fontainhas, Cabo Verde
  • Ninhue, Chile
  • San Vicente de Chucuri, Colombia
  • Barichara, Colombia
  • Kalopanagiotis, Cyprus
  • Pissouri, Cyprus
  • Adaba, Ethiopia
  • Khonoma, India
  • Neot Semadar, Israel
  • Otricoli, Italy
  • Il Ngwesi, Kenya
  • Grand Baie, Mauritius
  • Bella Vista, Paraguay
  • Istebna, Poland
  • Ferraria de São João, Portugal
  • Castara, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Anıtlı, Türkiye
  • Cumalıkızık, Türkiye


Tzvetozar Vincent Iolov, UNWTO names its 2022 Best Tourism Villages, and ten are in the EU, The, 21/12/2022

UNWTO, ‘Best Tourism Villages’ of 2022 Named by UNWTO, Hospitalitynet, 21/12/2022

UNWTO unveils Best Tourism Villages for 2022, TTG Asia, 21/12/2022


Photo de Marek Piwnicki sur Unsplash