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"Force for good": UNWTO rebrands as UN Tourism; seeks world’s Best Tourism Villages

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has rebranded as UN Tourism, highlighting its clear connection to the United Nations. The entity also calls for global entries for the 2024 Best Tourism Villages initiative that celebrates rural tourism as a force for good.

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has rebranded as UN Tourism, highlighting its clear connection to the United Nations. The entity also calls for global entries for the 2024 Best Tourism Villages initiative that celebrates rural tourism as a force for good.

UN Tourism’s new brand narrative and tagline ‘Bringing the world closer’ doubles down on driving social and economic change for tourism development as leisure travel continues its post-pandemic recovery.

The new narrative ensures the focus is always on people and the planet and features three main messages: the UN as a global altruistic organisation, the notion of connecting humans around the world and the concept of proactivity and movement.

UN Tourism Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said as the world keeps changing, the tourism sector needs to transform as society progresses.

“Enhancing the wellbeing of individuals, safeguarding the natural environment, stimulating economic advancement and fostering international harmony are key goals that are the fundamental essence of UN Tourism,” he said.

Callout for Best Tourism Villages 2024

This includes the Best Tourism Villages initiative, now in its third year, which seeks to transform tourism into a catalyst for rural prosperity and wellbeing. 

UN Tourism Member States can submit up to eight candidate villages through their National Tourism Administrations (NTAs).

Currently, the Best Tourism Villages Network brings together 186 members globally.

In the APAC region for 2023, Japan’s Hakuba, Shirakawa, Oku-Matsushima and Biei were listed along with Dongbaek, Mosan and Sehwa in South Korea; Tan Hoa, Vietnam; Huangling, Xiajiang, Zhagana and Zhujiawa in China and Penglipuran, Indonesia among others.

“Best Tourism Villages by UN Tourism recognises rural destinations where tourism is being effectively embraced as an opportunity or as a tool for sustainable growth or for preserving unique cultural and natural heritage,” Mr Pololikashvili said.

“For the 2024 edition, we look forward to seeing more examples of tourism as a force for good.”

Find out more at unwto.org