Last week, at a gathering in Madrid, Switzerland put forward a selection of three Swiss villages in the hope that the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) would include them on its list of “Best Tourism Villages”.
To qualify for selection, Swiss villages had to promote local activities, such as farming and wine making and demonstrate a commitment to preserving their cultural heritage and the environment.
The three towns of Gruyères, Saas-Fee (pictured above) and Valposchiavo all qualified in the eyes of the Swiss jury made up of representatives from Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) and Swiss Tourism.
The UNWTO shared Switzerland’s enthusiasm for its selected tourism destinations and awarded all three the status of “Best Tourism Village”. Overall, more than 170 villages were put forward to the UNWTO for selection from around the world. 44 of the villages entered were awarded the label. Switzerland was the only nation to obtain the label for three towns.
The 44 “Best Tourism Villages” will now all benefit from global promotion by the UNWTO, which will raise their profiles internationally.