Kaštelir-Labinci Joins Network of UNWTO Best Tourism Villages

By 4 December 2021

December 4, 2021 - UNWTO has included the Municipality of Kaštelir-Labinci in the Upgrade Program, which in its application showed a commitment to innovation and sustainability in the development of responsible and high-quality tourism.

The best examples of villages that accept tourism, provide opportunities, and encourage sustainable development were highlighted at the General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in Madrid. As a result, the UNWTO Best Tourist Villages Initiative was launched to enhance the role of tourism in protecting rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and local values ​​and activities, including local gastronomy reports HRTurizam.

Forty-four villages from 32 countries in five world regions received recognition for 2021. They all stand out for their natural and cultural wealth and their innovative activities and commitment to the development of tourism following the goals of sustainable development.

This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a powerful driver of their development and well-being. An independent Advisory Board evaluated the villages based on a set of criteria covering nine areas:

- Cultural and natural resources
- Promotion and preservation of cultural resources
- Economic sustainability
- Social sustainability
- Environmental sustainability
- Tourism potential and value chain development and integration
- Management and prioritization of tourism
- Infrastructure and connectivity
- Health, safety, and security

All of the 44 selected villages scored a total of 80 or more points out of a possible 100. The best tourist villages of the UNWTO initiative include three pillars:

UNWTO Best Tourist Villages: The label will recognize a village that is an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination with recognized cultural and natural assets, that preserves and promotes rural and community-based values, products, and lifestyles, and has a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects - economic, social and environmental.
UNWTO “Best Tourist Villages” Upgrade Program: The upgrade program will benefit several villages that do not fully meet the label criteria. These villages will receive support from the UNWTO and its partners in improving elements of the area identified as gaps in the evaluation process.
UNWTO Best Tourist Villages Network: The network will provide a space to exchange experiences and good practices, learning, and opportunities. It will include representatives of villages awarded the “Best Tourist Village according to the UNWTO,” villages participating in the Upgrade Program, as well as experts, public and private sector partners involved in the promotion of tourism for rural development.

A total of 75 UNWTO member states nominated 174 villages (each member state could represent a maximum of three villages) for the 2021 pilot initiative. 20 villages. Among them, 44 have been declared the best tourist villages by the UNWTO, and another 20 villages will be included in the Upgrade Program.

Among others, the UNWTO has included the Municipality of Kaštelir-Labinci in the Upgrade Program, which in its application showed a commitment to innovation and sustainability in the development of responsible and high-quality tourism. The vision of the Municipality is the development of a recognizable destination, i.e., the development of indigenous rural tourism, which contributes to the coordinated development of agriculture and tourism, rich offer of various contents and events adapted to different target groups - nature lovers, active vacationers, recreationists, gourmands, weekenders, hunters.

All 64 villages are included in the UNWTO network of the best tourist villages. The next edition will open in February 2022.

List of best tourist villages according to UNWTO 2021:

Bekhovo, Russian Federation
Bkassine, Lebanon
Bojo, Philippines
Caspalá, Argentina
Castelo Rodrigo, Portugal
Cuetzalan del Progreso, Mexico
Cumeada, Portugal
Gruyères, Switzerland
Batu Puteh, Malaysia
Kaunertal, Austria
Le Morne, Mauritius
Lekunberri, Spain
Mani, Mexico
Misfat Al Abriyeen, Oman
Miyama, Japan
Mokra Gora, Serbia
Morella, Spain
Mustafapasha, Turkey
Nglangeran, Indonesia
Niseko, Japan
Village of Nkotsi, Rwanda
Old Great Harbor, Mauritius
Olergesailie, Kenya
Ollantaytambo, Peru
Pano Lefkara, Cyprus
Pizza, Chile
Pochampally, India
Puerto Williams, Chile
Radovljica, Slovenia
Rial Alma’a, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Testo Alto, Brazil
Saas Fee, Switzerland
San Cosme y Damián, Paraguay
San Ginesio, Italy
Sidi Kaouki, Morocco
Solčava, Slovenia
Soufli, Greece
Taraklı, Turkey
Purple Island, Republic of Korea
Ungok Village, Republic of Korea
Valposchiavo,  Switzerland
Wonchi, Ethiopia
Xidi, China
Yucun, China

In addition, the UNWTO will work with the following villages participating in the Upgrade Program:

Ordino, Andorra
Khinalig, Azerbaijan
Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria
Kastelir Labinci, Croatia
Agros, Cyprus
Fuwah, Egypt
Western Samos, Greece
Hollókő, Hungary
Biei, Japan
Capulálpam de Méndez, Mexico
Years, Montenegro
Gornja Lastva, Montenegro
Oukaimeden, Morocco
Barangay Tenani, Philippines
Gasura, Rwanda
Gostilje, Serbia
Gorenja Vas, Slovenia
Cantavieja, Spain
Bo Suak, Thailand
Ruboni, Uganda

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