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Ethiopia’s Wenchi named Best Tourism Village 2021
ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Wenchi, a site with a crater lake and picturesque landscape and an island monastery, has been selected as Best Tourism Villages 2021 by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The competition recognizes villages that are an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination with recognized cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community-based values, among others.
A total of 174 villages were proposed by 75 countries for this year's competition that allows each WTO Member State to present a maximum of three villages.
An independent Advisory Board evaluated the proposed villages against a set of criteria covering nine areas including Cultural and Natural Resources; Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources; and Tourism Potential and Development and Value Chain Integration.
During its General assembly in Spain’s capital Madrid, the UN agency announced 44 villages from 30 countries as winners of Best Tourism Villages 2021.
And Wenchi, a site located in the Oromia region and endowed with a legacy of once-powerful volcanoes, hot springs, and a crater lake, is among the best villages, according to the WTO.
Wenchi and its surrounding area are currently a subject of a mega preservation and construction project that aims to make it one of the top tourist destinations in Ethiopia.
Apart from Wonchi, five African sites have made it to the ‘Best Tourism Villages 2021’ winners list.
They are Le Morne and Old Grand Port of Mauritius, Nkotsi of Rwanda, Olergesailie of Kenya, and Sidi Kaouki of Morocco.
The UN agency launched the competition to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity.
“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a fairer distribution of benefits throughout the territory and empowering local communities,” says UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili.
“This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing”.
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