Four rural villages in China were on Thursday named Best Tourism Villages 2023, an accolade by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which recognizes villages that are leading the way in nurturing rural areas and preserving landscapes, cultural diversity, local values, and culinary traditions.
The four villages are: Xiajiang village from East China's Zhejiang province, Huangling village from Jiangxi province, Zhagana village from Gansu province and Zhujiawan village from Shaanxi province.
The announcement was made at the UNWTO's 25th General Assembly in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
In this third edition, 54 villages from all regions were selected from almost 260 applications. A further 20 villages have joined the Upgrade Programme, and all 74 villages are now part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Network.
Launched in 2021, the Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative is part of the UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Programme.
"Tourism can be a powerful force for inclusivity, empowering local communities and distributing benefits across regions," emphasizes UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. "This initiative acknowledges villages that have harnessed tourism as a catalyst for their development and well-being."
So far, a total of eight villages from China were named in the list, ranking first globally.