Best Tourism Villages is a global initiative of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that highlights villages where tourism activities preserve the cultures and traditions, celebrate the diversity, provide opportunities and protect the biodiversity. The list of Best Tourism Villages of 2023 was announced at the 25th General Assembly of the UN World Trade Organization (UNWTO) held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.
In the 2023 edition, 54 villages were selected as the Best Tourism Village among approximately 260 applications. The villages are named on the list from the ECO Member States are as following:
• Kandovan, an extraordinary ancient village famous for its wonderful rocky architecture and hand-carved structures resulting from volcanic activity, from Iran
• Saty, a village located within the state national park “Kolsai Kolderi” which lies along the northern slope of the Tien Shan mountains, from Kazakhstan
• Şirince, an ancient Greek Orthodox settlement dating back to the 5th century BC, is located in the Selçuk district of Izmir, from Türkiye
• Sentob, a village with a developed sustainable lifestyle, located near the Aydarkol reservoir, surrounded by natural parks, high mountains and Lake Fazilman, from Uzbekistan
Kale Üçağız and Kemaliye from Türkiye were also selected to participate in the UNWTO Network of Best Tourism Villages Upgrade Programme. On this occasion, the ECO Secretariat extends its congratulations to the Member States whose candidates were selected.