UNWTO opens applications for "Best Tourism Village 2024"

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced the opening of applications for the "Best Tourism Village 2024" initiative, aimed at promoting tourism as a catalyst for rural growth, development, and healthy living. Launched in 2021, this programme underscores the importance of tourism in fostering sustainable development in rural areas.

The Ministry of Tourism has confirmed that applications for the "Best Tourism Village 2024" are now open, with a deadline set for March 28 at 1000hrs. Interested islands can submit their applications through their respective Island Councils.

It has been specified that islands with populations below 15,000 are eligible to participate in the programme. The tourism ministry will select eight islands as nominees based on their contributions to facilitating tourism growth and development.

Furthermore, the tourism ministry revealed that over 70 islands from 40 countries have been recognised as prominent destinations of interest for global tourists through this programme. Participating islands will have the opportunity to engage with the "Best Tourism Village" network and collaborate with other countries on tourism-related initiatives, potentially gaining global exposure in the process.

The tourism ministry emphasised the UNWTO will prioritise culturally preserved sites and the conservation of natural beauty in the selection process. Applicants are encouraged to include information about cultural heritage preservation efforts in their submissions. Moreover, the selection criteria for the "Best Tourism Village 2024" will also consider island-level initiatives aimed at promoting cultural heritage policies.