The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has added several dozen villages to their Best Tourism Villages list for 2023.
UN officials recently gathered for their annual General Assembly in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, where they revealed the 54 villages who received the prestigious accolade.
This is the third edition of UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages, an initiative which highlights the most outstanding villages across the globe, with projects that help to preserve culture and traditions, safeguard the environment and support local communities.Many of the rural destinations listed are unknown to even the frequent traveller.
Peru claimed the most villages on the list at five, with communities such as Taquile and Paucartambo named. Chile also flew the flag for Latin America, with three of its villages receiving honours.
Europe took the top spot for the continent with the most villages featured: Morcote in Switzerland is perhaps one of the most breathtaking entries, while the tiny principality of Andorra made the cut with its resort village of Ordino.
Asia also made a great impact on the list, with four villages added from China and Japan each, and three from South Korea.
There were also 20 villages selected to join an Upgrade Programme, a category that will help support villages wanting to reach recognition criteria, but have improvements that need to be made.
All 74 villages will be added to the existing Best Tourism Villages network, where they can exchange experiences and learnings with one another. With 2023’s new additions, the network is now made up of 190 villages, and will continue to increase each year.
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “Tourism can be a powerful force for inclusivity, empowering local communities and distributing benefits across regions.
“This initiative acknowledges villages that have harnessed tourism as a catalyst for their development and well-being.”
Below is UNWTO's Best Tourism Villages 2023, in photos