The eco-tourist village of Sidi Kaouki, near Essaouira is among the “Best tourist villages in the world 2021”, according to a list unveiled Thursday by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The UNWTO General Assembly, held in Madrid, dedicated the best examples of villages that make tourism a source of opportunities and a driver of sustainable development, including Sidi Kaouki.
A total of 44 villages from 32 countries in the five regions of the world obtained this recognition in 2021. All of them stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as their innovative and transformative actions and their commitment to an expansion of tourism. in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The villages were assessed by an independent advisory committee on the basis of a set of criteria from nine areas. These are cultural and natural resources, the promotion and conservation of cultural resources, economic, social and environmental sustainability, the development potential of tourism and the integration of the value chain, governance and prioritization of tourism. , infrastructure and connectivity, health, safety and security.
“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a more equitable distribution of benefits across the country and by empowering local communities,” UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili said during of the presentation ceremony of this initiative which rewards, according to him, the villages which are committed to making tourism a powerful engine of their development and their well-being.
On the other hand, the village of Oukaimeden will participate in the program to upgrade this initiative, promoted by the UNWTO.
A total of 174 villages were proposed by 75 UNWTO Member States (each Member State could submit a maximum of three villages) under the 2021 pilot initiative.