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Soufli Vying for UNWTO ‘Best Tourism Village’ Title

The Dadia Monastery in Soufli. Photo source: Municipality of Soufli

The village of Soufli in northern Greece will compete to be included among the “Best Tourism Villages”, an initiative launched earlier in 2021 by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” initiative aims to identify villages of member states that take innovative and transformative approaches to tourism in rural areas in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Soufli has been shortlisted by the Greek Tourism Ministry, along with Alonissos in the Sporades group, and Western Samos, to represent Greece in the initiative.

The three villages were chosen after an evaluation process that included 10 candidate municipalities.

“Soufli is the only representative from mainland Greece, since the other two candidacies come from the Greek islands, that represent a large part of the country’s tourism industry,” the Soufli Municipality said in an announcement.

The “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” initiative includes three pillars:

1. The “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” Label: The Label will recognize a village which is an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination with recognized cultural and natural assets.

2. The ‘”Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” Upgrade Program: The Upgrade program will benefit a number of villages that do not fully meet the Label criteria.

3. The “Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO” Network: The Network will provide a space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learnings, and opportunities.

It is reminded that UNWTO member states can present up to three villages to be assessed by the initiative.

The selected villages will be announced in October, on the occasion of the 24th session of the UNWTO General Assembly, scheduled to take place in Marrakesh, Morocco.

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