Context: Recently, United Nations World Tourism Organisation has included Dhordo village in the list of ‘Best Tourism Village’.
- Dhordo, located in the Banni region within the Rann of Kutch, stands as a symbol of Gujarat’s progress and increasing pride.
- The village’s distinctive round houses, known as bhungas, have gained immense popularity among tourists.
- Dhordo is renowned for hosting the three-month-long Rann Utsav, a cultural celebration that highlights the traditional art, music, and crafts of the region.
- The Best Tourism Village is awarded to villages that are at the forefront of both nurturing rural areas and preserving the region’s landscapes, cultural diversity, and culinary traditions.
About Best Tourism Villages initiative
- Introduced in 2021, the UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages initiative is an integral component of the UNWTO Tourism for Rural Development Programme.
- This program is dedicated to fostering development and inclusivity in rural regions, countering depopulation, promoting innovation, enhancing value chain integration through tourism, and advocating sustainable practices.
Villages are assessed across nine essential areas
- Cultural and Natural Resources
- Promotion and Preservation of Cultural Resources
- Economic Viability
- Social Viability
- Environmental Sustainability
- Tourism Advancement and Integration of Value Chains
- Governance and Prioritization of Tourism
- Infrastructure and Connectivity
- Health, Safety, and Security
Initiative encompasses three key pillars
- Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO: Acknowledges exceptional rural tourism destinations featuring accredited cultural and natural assets, a dedication to preserving community-based values, and a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability across economic, social, and environmental aspects.
- Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO Upgrade Programme: Provides support to villages in their journey towards meeting recognition criteria, offering assistance in areas identified as gaps during evaluation.
- Best Tourism Villages Network: Serves as a platform for sharing experiences and best practices, learning opportunities, and engagement with members, welcoming contributions from experts and public and private sector partners involved in the promotion of tourism as a catalyst for rural development.
- The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations dedicated to promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism.
- Headquarters: Madrid, Spain.
- It takes the lead in shaping tourism policies and offers support while serving as a global platform for tourism policy discussions and a valuable source of tourism research and knowledge.
- UNWTO encourages the adoption of various initiatives, including the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism Development, Competitiveness, Innovation & Digital Transformation, Ethics, Culture & Social Responsibility.
- Official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
- General Assembly: It serves as the primary meeting of the World Tourism Organization, convening every two years to endorse the budget and work plan and to deliberate on significant issues pertaining to the tourism sector. It also elects a Secretary-General every four years. The World Committee on Tourism Ethics operates as a subsidiary body of the General Assembly.
- Executive Council: UNWTO’s governing board is the Executive Council, responsible for ensuring the Organization fulfills its mission and adheres to its financial plan. It convenes at least twice a year and consists of members chosen by the General Assembly.
- Committees: Specialized committees comprised of UNWTO members provide guidance on management and program content. These include the Committee on Budget and Finance, the Sustainable Development of Tourism Committee, and others.
- Secretariat: The Secretariat is responsible for executing UNWTO’s work program and meeting the requirements of members and affiliate members. The Secretary-General leads this group.