The historic oasis town of AlUla in Saudi Arabia gained special attention last week when it not only served as the venue for UNWTO’s Best Tourism Villages (BTV) initiative, but also landed among the 32 destinations selected. The old town of AlUla was awarded as an impressive example of a rural tourist destination with recognized cultural and natural treasures.
In the picturesque oasis of AlUlas, delegates of the UNWTO initiative “Best Tourism Villages” gathered to hold the award ceremony for the best tourism villages worldwide for the first time in person. The initiative honors villages that preserve and promote rural values, products and lifestyles and are committed to innovation and sustainability in economic, social and environmental matters.
Two-day meeting to strengthen local communities and partnerships
The Maraya Event Hall, with its stunning backdrop, provided a forum for scientific exchange, proven best practices, and topics such as strengthening local communities and public-private partnerships during the two-day meeting. The initiative’s activity plan for 2023 was also defined.
UNWTO Secretary-General stresses importance of tourism for rural communities
UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili attended the event as a guest of honor and emphasized that tourism can be a game changer for rural communities worldwide. He highlighted that the Best Tourism Villages awards show the power of the tourism sector to drive economic diversification and create opportunities for everyone outside the major cities.
AlUla – A cultural melting pot and place of cultural exchange
The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) sees AlUla’s heritage as a cultural melting pot as a natural synergy with UNWTO’s BTV program. AlUla’s listing recognizes the RCU’s careful regeneration, cultural rejuvenation, and targeted restoration of heritage sites.
AlUla to host first global BTV meeting
The RCU is honored not only by AlUla’s inclusion on the BTV list, but also by its choice of location to host this first global BTV meeting. This recognition underscores the growing importance of AlUla as a luxury travel destination for guests from around the world.