Low population density, and a maximum of 15,000 inhabitants.


Be located in a landscape with an important presence of traditional activities such as agriculture, forestry, livestock or fishing.


Share community values and lifestyle.


1. Applications should exclusively be presented online by UNWTO Members States (National
Tourism Administrations).

2. Read carefully the Terms and Conditions.

3. Read carefully the Guidelines for Application.

4. Read carefully the Application form.

5. Fill out the Application Rationale.

6. Provide the proof and evidence requested in the Application Form.

7. To know more, download the presentation.


Applications will be evaluated by an independent advisory board through a set of indicators covering the following areas:

1. Cultural and Natural Resources

2. Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources

3. Economic Sustainability

4. Social Sustainability

5. Environmental Sustainability

6. Tourism Potential & Development and Value Chain Integration

7. Governance and Prioritization of Tourism

8. Infrastructure and Connectivity

9. Health, Safety and Security

To know more download the Areas of Evaluation.


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Who can apply?

The Call for Applications is open to all UNWTO Member States Candidacies are not open for individual application by villages and must always be presented by a UNWTO Member State (National Tourism Administrations).


Does the size of a village matter?

Yes, villages must not exceed 15.000 inhabitants. There is no minimum established.


Can a small community present the candidacy jointly with other community/ies of the area (a cluster of villages) who are constituted under the same administrative structure?

No joint candidatures can be submitted even if two (or more) villages are promoted as a single destination or are part of a destination cluster. It is recommended that the country submits two or three individual applications, one for each village.


When is the application deadline?

The deadline for applications for the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO pilot initiative is 31 July 2021, 23:59 CET. Deadline for submitting applications has been extended until 15 September 2021 (23:59 CET). New extended deadline.

When will the villages awarded as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO be announced?

The villages awarded with the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO Label and those included in the Upgrade Programme will be officially announced during the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly 2021 to be held in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Selected villages (from Label and Upgrade Programme) will be notified prior to the General Assembly.

To allow for a considered and impartial evaluation of the applications, Member States and villages are kindly requested to refrain from requesting information on their applications during this process.


What are the benefits of participating in the initiative?

The villages awarded with the Label will benefit from international recognition as an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination and visibility, such as showcase in the Best Tourism Villages initiative website They will also receive a diploma and/or plate signed by the UNWTO Secretary-General.

The villages included in the Upgrade Programme will receive support from UNWTO and Partners to improve elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.

Villages from both categories are entitled to be part of the Network, a space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learnings, and opportunities. It will include experts, public and private sector partners engaged in the promotion of tourism for rural development. Villages in the Network can also benefit from being included as case studies in UNWTO policy documents, guidelines, participating in rural development and tourism related events…


Will the villages awarded with the Label Best Tourism Villages receive financial compensation?

No, no financial compensation will be given in connection with the label.


How do Member States apply?

Applications must be summited only online through the online application form. UNWTO will provide each Member State (National Tourism Administration) with a specific code for the purpose of the online application process.


Is there a fee for participating in the initiative?

No, there is no fee for participating in the initiative.


How to submit online applications?

Once completed, the online application form will be automatically submitted by clicking on ‘Submit’. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address of the Member State representative provided in the online application form (field 1.5.8).

Please note that this person will be responsible for the communication and coordination of all issues related to the application(s) submitted by the Member State.


How many villages can a Member State submit?

Each Member State can submit a maximum of three villages. An application form must be filled per each village.


Who evaluates the Applications?

Applications will be evaluated by an independent Advisory Board which will assess: i) the information provided for each of the evaluation areas and ii) the Application Rationale where a motivation statement for joining the initiative is expressed as well as the future commitments and actions that the village would adopt in case of being awarded the Label Best Tourism Villages.

To protect the independence of the Board, no information on the identity of the members is provided until the end of their mandate.


Are the areas of evaluation publicly available?

Yes, areas of evaluation are available in three languages (EN, FR and SP) in the “Applications” section of the Best Tourism Villages website.


How many villages will be selected in each category of the pilot initiative?

There is no established number for the villages selected in the Label. For those in the Upgrade Programme, UNWTO will assess the limit in number of villages based on the results of the pilot initiative.


Who to contact in case of technical problems or questions regarding the application?

For any issues please contact the UNWTO Secretariat at [email protected]