Best Tourism Villages: Meaningful Experiences for Less Money

Global EAT - Best Tourism Villages for Rural Experiences
Nestled at 1,500 metres ((4,921 feet) in the Caucasus Mountains, Mestia is known for its Svan culture and medieval heritage. (Photo Credit: Etienne Dayer/

Posted: Dec 31, 2022 | Updated: January 02, 2023

Best Tourism Villages 2022 results are in.  Of the 32 villages recognized, 13 are located in Europe, eight in the Americas, eight in Asia and three in Africa.

Best Tourism Villages is a recognition given by UNWTO to rural destinations with accredited cultural and natural assets, and commitment to innovation and sustainability.  Villages that adopt tourism to drive economic growth and job creation, while keeping and promoting community-based values, products and lifestyles.

Travel budget stretches further in rural communities.  Lodging and food are less expensive than city stays. These off-the-beaten-path communities are also invaluable resources for meaningful and memorable learning experiences.  From ancient traditions to local culture and food, they provide a treasure trove of life lessons for our modern lifestyles.

Global EAT - Best Tourism Villages for Rural Experiences
Giglio, the beautiful idyllic island off the Tuscan coast known for its natural beauty, picturesque villages and Tuscan gastronomic tradition. (Photo Credit: Federico Burgalassi/

In rural communities, travellers are often embraced as members of the community rather than as outsiders.  That personal connection fosters an environment of creating memories for travellers and their hosts. The slow pace lifestyle provides an opportunity to step back, relax and rejuvenate one’s physical and mental well-being.

The 2022 list according to world region with the most recognized number of destinations.

Europe (13)

  • Zell am See, Austria
  • Wagrain, Austria
  • Sauris-Zahre, Italy
  • Isola del Giglio, Italy
  • Castelo Novo, Portugal
  • Rasinari, Romania
  • Bohinj, Slovenia
  • Rupit, Spain
  • Alquézar, Spain
  • Guadalupe, Spain
  • Murten, Switzerland
  • Andermatt, Switzerland
Global EAT - Best Tourism Villages for Rural Experiences
A medieval town, Alquezar sits on the foothills of the Pyrenees. It’s Arabian-style castle-fortress was built in the 9th Century. (Photo Credit: Michael Ende/

Americas (8)

  • Puqueldón, Chile
  • Choachí, Colombia
  • Aguarico, Ecuador
  • Angochagua, Ecuador
  • Creel, Mexico
  • El Fuerte, Mexico
  • Lamas, Peru
  • Raqchi, Peru

Asia (8)

Eastern Asia

  • Dazhai, China
  • Jingzhu, China
  • Pyeongsa-ri, Republic of Korea
  • Thái Hải, Vietnam

Western Asia
  • Birgi, Türkiye
  • Mestia, Georgia
  • Kfar Kama, Israel
  • Umm Qais, Jordan
  • AlUla Old Town, Saudi Arabia

Africa (3)

  • Choke Mountains Ecovillage, Ethiopia
  • Ksar Elkhorbat, Morocco
  • Moulay Bouzerktoune, Morocco

A total of 136 villages were submitted for consideration by 57 UNWTO Member States for 2022.  The villages were evaluated by an independent Advisory Board based on a set of criteria covering nine areas:
1. Cultural and Natural Resources
2. Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources
3. Economic Sustainability
4. Social Sustainability
5. Environmental Sustainability
6. Tourism Development and Value Chain Integration
7. Governance and Prioritization of Tourism
8. Infrastructure and Connectivity
9. Health, Safety, and Security