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UNWTO distinguishes two Portuguese villages with the Best Tourism Village title



Cumeada and Castelo Rodrigo are the two Portuguese villages that won the World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Best Tourism Village Award. The distinction was announced today during the 24th General Assembly of the UNWTO, which is taking place in Madrid and which counts with the presence of the Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques. 

This is the first year that these awards have been awarded, with the aim of distinguishing the best rural destinations worldwide and, in this way, contribute to the valorisation of the rural territory and local communities through tourism. 

With these awards, the UNWTO also wants to contribute to increase the visibility of villages and draw attention to the tourism potential of these territories, in order to attract more visitors; promote the traditions and culture of the regions, giving them greater projection and recognition on an international scale; encourage the development of villages through sustainability approaches - economic, social and environmental - that are transformative and in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG); and generate networks between the various villages at global level. 

In this first edition more than 170 applications were received from 75 countries. Portugal applied with three villages, the maximum number of applications per country. 

The Best Tourism Village seal is valid for three years, after which the village will be assessed again according to the sustainability requirements and the seal will be renewed. 

In parallel to the award, the UNWTO, through the Upgrade Programme, benefits a set of villages selected among those that did not meet all the criteria of Best Tourism Village. These villages will receive support from the UNWTO and its partners to develop aspects identified for improvement during the application evaluation process. 

Applicants are also integrated into the UNWTO's International Network which will enable the sharing of experiences and good practices between villages. This network will integrate representatives of the Best Tourism Village and the Upgrade Programme villages, as well as experts and public and private partners involved in rural tourism development.​​ 

  • Award
  • Low-density territories
  • Villages
  • Rural tourism
  • Portugal
  • Destination
  • 2021
  • News
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