Paicol, one of eight municipalities candidates for ‘Best Cities for Rural Tourism 2024’

Colombia’s Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism has revealed that eight charming Colombian cities have been selected to represent the country in UN Tourism’s Best Tourist Villages.

Among the 117 applications from 19 departments, these cities stood out commitment to rural tourism and its ability to turn this activity into an engine of local development.

The lucky winners are Puerto Nariño (Amazonas), Jardín (Antioquia), El Cocuy (Boyacá), Orocué (Casanare), Sesquilé (Cundinamarca), Paicol (Huila), Murillo (Tolima) and Cairo (Valle del Cauca). These jewels from Colombia will be the ambassadors of the country’s beauty and authenticity on the international stage.

The UN Tourism Best Tourism Villages competition recognizes those cities that make rural tourism an instrument for sustainable developmentgenerating employment and income opportunities, while preserving and promoting the values ​​and products of their communities. Last year, Zapatoca, Santander, won the award as one of the best rural tourism destinations in the world.

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The selection criteria include the uniqueness and representativeness of local tourist attractions, as well as actions in the field of social, environmental and economic sustainability. In addition, governance and tourism development were assessed, as well as the available infrastructure.

“The selected people have fewer than 15,000 inhabitants, carry out traditional activities such as agriculture, forestry or livestock, and make tourism a way to share the values ​​and lifestyles of their community.”

The Vice Minister of Tourism, Arturo Bravo, emphasized the importance of these cities in promoting Colombia as a sustainable, inclusive and diversified destination. He stated that these exponents of rural tourism have the necessary qualities to captivate international visitors and enrich their lives with authentic experiences.

The selected cities will have the opportunity to submit their application to UN Tourism, accompanied by the Deputy Ministry of Tourism. Those who do not achieve the title of Best Tourism Villages will be eligible for the Upgrade Program, which will provide them with technical assistance, training and support to improve their rural tourism practices and sustainability.

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