There couldn’t be a more compelling reason to visit Gujarat this winter — the state’s Dhordo village which hosts Rann Utsav every year was just named among the best tourism villages announced by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
Dhordo was chosen from almost 260 applications that were submitted for the third edition of the list. The village also hosted the first Tourism Working Group Meeting of the G20 earlier this year.
The UNWTO perceived rural travel spots that have incredible natural and cultural assets, a commitment to preserving local communities.The villages on the list, of which Dhordo is a part, are selected based on nine key areas including Cultural and natural resources, Economic sustainability,Social sustainability, Environmental sustainability and others.
The finest tourism village list has 53 other entries from villages across the world, it was released on October 19, 2023.
Dhordo village is also the destination of the much sought after Rann Utsav of Kutch. It hosts a variety of tourism-centric activities such as a bazaar housing local Kutchi handicrafts, music and dance performances, camel rides, night safaris and village tours, and offers delectable local cuisine, making it a must-visit for culture enthusiasts.
As per, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said, “Tourism can be a powerful force for inclusiveness, empowering local communities and distributing benefits across regions. This initiative acknowledges villages that have harnessed tourism as a catalyst for their development and well-being.”
Some other villages on this list include Dongbaek in the Republic of Korea, Oku-Matsushima, Biei, Hakuba and Shirakawa in Japan and Siwa and Dahshour in Egypt, to name a few. Additionally, 20 more villages, including India’s Madla, are part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Network’s Upgrade Programme.