• 2 DEC 21

The best examples of villages embracing tourism to provide opportunity and drive sustainable development have been celebrated at the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) General Assembly in Madrid.

The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative was launched to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and their local values and activities, including local gastronomy.

A total of 44 villages from 32 countries across the five world regions were granted the recognition in 2021. All of them stand out for their natural and cultural resources as well as for their innovative and transformative actions and commitment to the development of tourism in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing

The villages were evaluated by an independent Advisory Board based on a set of criteria covering nine areas:

  1. Cultural and Natural Resources
  2. Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources
  3. Economic Sustainability
  4. Social Sustainability
  5. Environmental Sustainability
  6. Tourism Potential and Development and Value Chain Integration
  7. Governance and Prioritization of Tourism
  8. Infrastructure and Connectivity
  9. Health, Safety and Security

All of the 44 chosen villages scored a total of 80 or more points or more out of a possible 100.

Tourism as a driver of rural development and inclusion

“Tourism can be a driver of social cohesion and inclusion by promoting a fairer distribution of benefits throughout the territory and empowering local communities,” says UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili. “This initiative recognizes those villages committed to making tourism a strong driver of their development and wellbeing”.

The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO initiative includes three pillars:  

  1. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’: Recognizes villages which are an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination with recognized cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community-based values, products and lifestyle and have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental.
  2. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ Upgrade Programme: The Upgrade programme will benefit a number of villages that do not fully meet the criteria to receive the recognition. These villages will receive support from UNWTO and its Partners in improving elements of the areas identified as gaps in the evaluation process.
  3. The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’ Network: The Network will provide a space for exchanging experiences and good practices, learnings, and opportunities. It will include representatives of the villages recognized as the ‘Best Tourism Village by UNWTO’ , the villages participating in the Upgrade Programme, as well as experts, public and private sector partners engaged in the promotion of tourism for rural development.

A total 174 villages were proposed by 75 UNWTO Member States (each Member State could present a maximum of three villages) for the 2021 pilot initiative. Among which 44 were recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO. Another 20 villages will enter the Upgrade Programme of the Initiative. All 64 villages enter to make part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Network.

The next edition will open in February 2022.

List of Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO 2021:

  • Bekhovo, Russian Federation
  • Bkassine, Lebanon
  • Bojo, Philippineshe
  • Caspalá, Argentina
  • Castelo Rodrigo, Portugal
  • Cuetzalan del Progreso, Mexico
  • Cumeada, Portugal
  • Gruyères, Switzerland
  • Batu Puteh , Malaysia
  • Kaunertal, Austria
  • Le Morne, Mauritius
  • Lekunberri, Spain
  • Maní, Mexico
  • Misfat Al Abriyeen, Oman
  • Miyama, Japan
  • Mokra Gora, Serbia
  • Morella, Spain
  • Mustafapaşa, Turkey
  • Nglanggeran, Indonesia
  • Niseko, Japan
  • Nkotsi Village, Rwanda
  • Old Grand Port, Mauritius
  • Olergesailie, Kenya
  • Ollantaytambo, Peru
  • Pano Lefkara, Cyprus
  • Pica, Chile
  • Pochampally, India
  • Puerto Williams, Chile
  • Radovljica, Slovenia
  • Rijal Alma'a, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Testo Alto, Brazil
  • Saas Fee, Switzerland
  • San Cosme y Damián, Paraguay
  • San Ginesio, Italy
  • Sidi Kaouki, Morocco
  • Solčava, Slovenia
  • Soufli, Greece
  • Taraklı, Turkey
  • The Purple Island, Republic of Korea
  • Ungok Village, Republic of Korea
  • Valposchiavo, Switzerland
  • Wonchi, Ethiopia
  • Xidi, China
  • Yucun, China

Additionally, UNWTO will work with the following villages participating in the Upgrade Programme:

  • Ordino, Andorra
  • Khinalig, Azerbaijan
  • Koprivshtitsa, Bulgaria
  • Kaštelir Labinci, Croatia
  • Agros, Cyprus
  • Fuwah, Egypt
  • Western Samos, Greece
  • Hollókő, Hungary
  • Biei, Japan
  • Capulálpam de Méndez, Mexico
  • Godinje, Montenegro
  • Gornja Lastva, Montenegro
  • Oukaimeden, Morocco
  • Barangay Tenani, Philippines
  • Gasura, Rwanda
  • Gostilje, Serbia
  • Gorenja Vas, Slovenia
  • Cantavieja, Spain
  • Bo Suak, Thailand
  • Ruboni, Uganda

World tourism organization published book Tourism stories...

Welcome to read our story, page 76


Hotel Plesnik Celebrates!

An article by Gorazd Čad, Editor in Chief, Kongres Magazin


Traveling through the history of the iconic Hotel Plesnik reveals a story of family, love, tradition and a passion for socializing in one of Europe’s most beautiful Alpine valleys. Hotel Plesnik’s elm tree embodies their journey – it is one of the symbols of the Logar Valley and represents a bridge between the generations, as well as forming part of the hotel’s recognizable brand.

Along with all of the friends and colleagues of the Plesnik family we were invited to the grand opening of their newly renovated hotel rooms and wellness centre. Arriving at the hotel we were greeted by the amazing mountain backdrop illuminated by a special afternoon light that accentuated the enchantingly beautiful ambience by the green coloured bio pool. The wonderful voice of Manca Izmailova characterized the evening and accompanied guests into the long summer night, a night full of sharing memories, enjoying music and the great company of friends. Hotel Plesnik’s team took care of the cuisine with an excellent cultural programme led by Franci Podbrežnik.

The hotel’s history has deep roots, as the Plesnik family originally owned a hotel in the near vicinity of the current one before the Second World War. The foundation of their project was a small post-war inn that was transformed into a new hotel between 1992 and 1994. It was the following year of 1995 that saw the grand opening and the hotel quickly became synonymous with the modern comfort and familiarity of a countryside house, as well as a boutique family hotel.


In carrying out the renovation in the spirit of local tradition, the predominant feature is wood. The solid parquet flooring gives you a feeling of warmth and coziness, which continues in the furniture with their modern inserts in elegant white. Bright tones and designer furnishings are the norm throughout, and an especially interesting feature is the lounger that screams: “Take it easy, sit down and just relax!”


As you would expect from a freshly renovated hotel, the rooms boast an ultra modern shower with geometrically shaped tiles in pastel brown. As a whole, the renovated hotel rooms feel very elegant, inviting and pleasant to stay in – excellent bedding and mattresses might be another reason why this is so. A special character is added by the well thought-out lighting setup and original pieces that will be especially noticeable in the winter days.


Enota is a Slovenian architectural company that was responsible for some famous projects, such as the award-winning Sotelia Wellness Hotel in Podčetrtek, and they have applied their touches to the Plesnik’s pool complex. Here they have created an intimate wellness club, offering ‘to die for’ views and an architectural design that has no match in Slovenia. Gravel-stone covered walls define the sauna experience in the basement and subtle lighting aids you in relaxing. An Ayurveda master will take care of all your knots and bring you to a state of Zen.



Nina Plesnik and her team look forward to hosting you!

Taking care of each guest individually and listening to their needs has somehow become embedded in the Plesnik family’s genome. Their wide range of activities, high-quality offer and, most importantly, a feeling of ‘Everything is possible’ keeps guests coming back. The renovation has blown a fresh breeze into their sails and we believe it will reap even greater success.

Luxury Boutique Hotel of the year

Luxury travel guide

Hotel Plesnik najboljši butični hotel na svetu, hotel Brdo pa najboljši luksuzni podeželski hotel na svetu

Objavljeno: 9.11.2017,


Hotela Plesnik in Brdo sta prejela pomembno priznanje. Luxury Travel Guide je hotel Plesnik imenoval za najboljši butični hotel na svetu, hotel Brdo pa za najboljši luksuzni podeželski hotel na svetu.

Hotel Plesnik najboljši butični hotel na svetu, hotel Brdo pa najboljši luksuzni podeželski hotel na svetu

Luxury Travel Guide, mednarodni vodnik za petični turizem, vsako leto podeli nagrade hotelom, gostinskim lokalom in drugim turističnim ponudnikom z vsega sveta, ki so po mnenju njihovih ocenjevalcev na svojem področju najodličnejši. Letos je ena od nagrad romala tudi v Slovenijo - nagrado za najboljši butični hotel na svetu je prejel hotel Plesnik iz Logarske doline, nagrado za najboljši luksuzni podeželski hotel na svetu pa hotel Brdo, del posestva Brdo.


Green Globe
Green Globe