The General Assembly of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO recognized the best examples of villages that make tourism a source of opportunities and a driver of sustainable development. “Best Tourism Villages” is an initiative launched to promote the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, as well as their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and local values and activities, including gastronomy. Testo Alto is on the list of 44 award-winning villages worldwide!

Testo Alto, recognized “Best Tourism Village” by the World Tourism Organization

Brazil shines through its worthy representative, the village of Testo Alto. A little over 160 kilometers of road separate Florianópolis and one of the best tourist villages in the world: the Enxaimel Route, in Pomerode, Santa Catarina. Awarded among the selection of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the village receives this certification that recognizes rural areas where tourism generates sustainable opportunities, preserving cultural traditions and the environment.

The villages were evaluated by an independent advisory committee based on a series of criteria in nine areas:

– Cultural and natural resources

– Promotion and conservation of cultural resources

– Economic sustainability

– Social sustainability

– Environmental sustainability

– Tourism potential and development and value chain integration

– Tourism governance and prioritization

– Infrastructure and connectivity – Health, safety and security

Each of the villages has achieved at least 80 of the 100 possible points. 44 villages from 32 countries in the five regions of the world have been awarded this recognition in 2021. All of them stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions and commitment to the expansion of tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of rural development and inclusion

A total of 174 villages were nominated by 75 UNWTO member states (each member state could nominate up to three villages) for the 2021 pilot initiative. Of these, 44 were recognized as UNWTO Best Tourism Villages. Another 20 villages will participate in the initiative’s upgrade program. The 64 selected villages will become part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages network.

The UNWTO Best Tourism Villages initiative is based on three pillars:

  1. The UNWTO “Best Tourism Villages” Label to distinguish a village that is an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination, has recognized cultural and natural assets, preserves and promotes rural and community values, products and lifestyles, and is clearly committed to innovation and sustainability in all its dimensions (economic, social and environmental).
  2. The UNWTO “Best Tourism Villages” Upgrade Program, which will benefit villages that do not fully meet the criteria for this recognition. These villages will be supported by UNWTO and its partners to improve aspects of the areas identified as deficient in the assessment process.
  3. The UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Network, a space for the exchange of experiences and best practices, lessons learned and opportunities. It will bring together representatives of the villages awarded the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages label and the villages participating in the Upgrading Program, as well as experts and public and private partners committed to promoting tourism for rural development.

ABOUT EMBRATUR The Brazilian Tourist Board is responsible for implementing National Tourism Policy in the areas of promotion, marketing, and marketing support for Brazilian tourist destinations, services and products in the international market. Embratur helps to generate social and economic development for the country by increasing the flow of international tourists to national destinations.

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