The idyllic Dhordo Village, nestled in the heart of Gujarat, India, has earned its place on the global stage as a leading tourism destination. It recently made headlines by hosting the inaugural Tourism Working Group Meeting of the G20, during India’s presidency of the influential group. This event, set against the enchanting backdrop of Dhordo’s landscapes, showcased the village’s remarkable capacity to host international gatherings and underscored its growing significance in the world of tourism.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his delight at Dhordo’s acknowledgment as the “best tourism village.” He celebrated the village’s profound cultural heritage and natural beauty while emphasizing its potential to allure visitors from around the world. Union Home Minister Amit Shah also joined in the celebration, recognizing the Prime Minister’s efforts in transforming the area into a world-class tourism destination.
The United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Best Tourism Villages 2023 accolade is a tribute to villages leading the way in nurturing rural regions, preserving landscapes, upholding cultural diversity, safeguarding local values, and celebrating culinary traditions. Launched in 2021, this initiative is a vital component of the UNWTO’s Tourism for Rural Development program, which aims to promote sustainable tourism practices.
In its third edition, the UNWTO’s initiative selected 54 villages from diverse regions out of nearly 260 applications. The announcement was made during the UNWTO General Assembly held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, from October 16 to 20, where leaders and experts gathered to discuss the future of global tourism.
Joining Dhordo on the prestigious list are several other villages from around the world, including Barrancas in Chile, Biei in Japan, Cantavieja in Spain, Dahshour in Egypt, Dongbaek in the Republic of Korea, Douma in Lebanon, Ericeira in Portugal, and Filandia in Colombia, among others.
UNWTO’s recognition criteria encompass nine key areas, including cultural and natural resources, the promotion and conservation of cultural assets, economic, social, and environmental sustainability, and tourism development. These criteria ensure that recognized villages are not only alluring destinations but also places where the local culture and environment are preserved, and where tourism benefits the entire community.
Dhordo’s inclusion in this esteemed list signifies not only its natural beauty and cultural richness but also its dedication to sustainable tourism practices.