Sources: aicep Portugal Global
Cumeada and Castelo Rodrigo are the two Portuguese villages that have won the Best Tourism Village Award from the World Tourism Organization. The distinction was announced during the 24th General Assembly of the OMT which is taking place in Madrid.
This is the first year that these awards have been given, with the aim of distinguishing the best rural destinations worldwide and contributing to the enhancement of rural locations and local communities through tourism.
With the attribution of these prizes, the OMT also intends to contribute to increasing the visibility of the villages and draw attention to the tourist potential of these areas, in order to attract more visitors; promote the traditions and culture of the regions, give them greater projection and recognition on an international scale; encourage village development through sustainability approaches – economic, social and environmental – that are transformative and in line with the United Nations sustainable development goals; and generate networks between different villages globally.
In this first edition, more than 170 applications were received, from 75 countries. Portugal applied with three villages, the maximum limit of candidacies per country.
The Best Tourism Village seal is valid for three years, after which the village will be re-evaluated according to sustainability requirements, in order to have the seal renewed.
Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism, said: “tourism is, without a doubt, a lever for rural development. The attribution of this prize is also a validation of the national tourism strategy which, since 2017, has been developing a set of actions with a view to building sustainable and innovative tourism of the future. And it is these good practices that we want to see implemented on a large scale, so that Portugal can increasingly be a destination that can be visited throughout the year, in all regions”.