Call for Applications: Best Tourism Villages Initiative 2024

 Deadline Date: April 24, 2024

 Donor Name: UN Tourism

 Grant Size: Not Available

UN Tourism has opened applications for the Best Tourism Villages Initiative to advance the role of tourism in valuing and safeguarding rural villages along with their associated landscapes, knowledge systems, biological and cultural diversity, local values and activities.

The initiative takes a dual-pronged approach: valuing and preserving rural villages, their landscapes, cultural diversity, and knowledge systems, and advancing innovative strategies aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


  • Reduce regional inequalities in income and development
  • Fight depopulation
  • Progress gender equality and women’s and youth empowerment
  • Promote rural transformation and strengthen traction capacity
  • Strengthen multi-level-governance, partnerships and the active involvement of communities
  • Improve connectivity, infrastructure, access to finance and investment
  • Advance innovation and digitalization
  • Innovate in product development and value chain integration
  • Promote the relationship between sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems and tourism
  • Advance the conservation of natural and cultural resources
  • Promote sustainable practices for a more efficient use of resources & a reduction of emissions and waste
  • Enhance education and skills


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


  • Best Tourism Villages: The Best Tourism Villages aims to recognize a village which is an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination with recognized cultural and natural assets, that preserves and promotes community based values, products and lifestyle and has a clear commitment to sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental with the fundamental aim of making tourism one of the drivers of positive transformation, rural development and community well-being.
  • Upgrade Programme: The Upgrade Programme will benefit a number of selected villages among those that do not fully meet the initiative criteria. These villages will be receiving support from UNWTO and Partners in improving elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.
  • Best Tourism Villages Network: The members of the Network are those villages recognised as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO, and those selected to participate in the Upgrade Programme. The BTV Network is a space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learning, and opportunities among its members, and it is open to contributions of experts and public and private sector partners engaged in the promotion of tourism as a driver for rural development.

Eligibility Criteria

  • A village must present the following features to be eligible for application:
    • Have a 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.
    • UNWTO Member States are invited to submit up to a maximum of eight applications (villages).

For more information, visit UN Tourism.

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