Art & CultureNews

Ethiopia’s Wonchi named Best Tourism Village 2021

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia’s Wonchi, a site with a crater lake and picturesque landscape, has been selected as Best Tourism Villages 2021 by World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

The competition 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, among others.

A total 174 villages were proposed by 75 countries for this year competition that allows each WTO Member State to present a maximum of three villages.

An independent Advisory Board evaluated the proposed villages against a set of criteria covering nine areas ​including Cultural and Natural Resources; Promotion and Conservation of Cultural Resources; and Tourism Potential and Development and Value Chain Integration.

During its General assembly in Spain’s capital Madrid, the UN agency announced 44 villages from 30 countries as winners of Best Tourism Villages 2021.

And Wonchi, a site located in Oromia region and endowed with a legacy of once powerful volcanoes, hot springs and a crater lake, is among the best villages, accorsing to the WTO.

Wonchi and its surrounding area is currently a subject of a mega preservstion and construction project that aims to make it one of the top tourist destinations in Ethiopia.

Apart from Wonchi, five African sites have made it to the ‘Best Tourism Villages 2021’ winners list.

They are Le Morne and Old Hrand Port of Mauritius, Nkotsi of Rwanda, Olergesailie of Kenya, and Sidi Kaouki of Morocco.

The UN agency launched the competition to advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, along with their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity.

“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”.