The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has announced the list of ‘best tourism villages’ in 2021 at its General Assembly in Madrid.
Kaštelir Labinci in Istria Croatia was named by UNWTO in the Upgrade Programme of the ‘best tourism villages’. The Upgrade Programme will benefit a number of villages that do not fully meet the criteria to receive the recognition. These villages will receive support from UNWTO and its partners in improving elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.
Following this announcement, a network of “UNWTO’s Best Tourist Villages” will be set up to provide space for sharing experiences and good practices, learning and creating new opportunities for development. It will include representatives of villages awarded the “Best Tourist Village” by the UNWTO, villages participating in the Upgrade Programme (including Kaštelir Labinci) as well as experts and public and private sector partners engaged in tourism promotion. for rural development.
A few months ago, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports selected the Municipality of Kaštelir Labinci as one of three Croatian candidates for the “Best Tourist Villages” award, launched by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) this May.
Under this initiative, UNWTO member states were able to apply for up to three candidates who will present themselves as drivers of sustainable change in the social, economic and environmental aspects in each of the member states.
The UNWTO Best Tourist Villages Initiative was launched to enhance the role of tourism in protecting rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities, including local gastronomy.
The vision of the Municipality of Kaštelir Labinci is the development of a recognizable destination, ie the development of indigenous rural tourism, which contributes to the coordinated development of agriculture and tourism, a rich offer of different content and events tailored to different target groups – nature lovers, active vacationers, recreationists, gourmands, weekenders, hunters. At the same time, it is a municipality in which more than half of the population is engaged in some form of agricultural production.
“Our Municipality Kaštelir Labinci is already a recognizable tourist destination to which many guests will be happy to return again. By joining the UNWTO Upgrade Program, we will receive multidisciplinary support to raise the quality of tourism in the context of rural development to an even higher level and to work with selected experts to one day be among those who receive the flattering title of “Best Tourist Village”. We are proud and happy because the UNWTO has recognized us, and all this is a confirmation that we are going in the right direction,” said Đulijano Petrović, Mayor of Kaštelir Labinci.
A total of 44 villages from 32 countries in five world regions received recognition in 2021. They all stand out for their natural and cultural wealth, as well as for their innovative and transformative activities and commitment to the development of tourism in accordance with the goals of sustainable development (SDG).