4 Arab villages are among the best tourist destinations in the world

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Egypt’s Siwa Oasis

CAIRO, Nov 22, (Agencies)L For travel enthusiasts seeking tranquility, explore the world’s finest tourist villages, featuring four in the Arab region — Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon are among them. The United Nations World Tourism Organization, prioritizing sustainable tourism for 2023, unveiled an expanded list of 55 tourist villages, a significant increase from last year’s 32.

Global recognition for rural gems

The World Tourism Organization emphasizes the program’s acknowledgment of “rural tourism destinations with approved cultural and natural assets, preserving societal values, and championing innovation and sustainability.” Launched in 2021, the initiative aims to counter rural population migration trends and empower women and children,.

Egypt’s hidden treasures: Dahshur and Siwa Oasis

Dahshur, an Egyptian village relying on agriculture and livestock, gained recognition from the international organization. Despite its largely concealed natural and cultural heritage, Dahshur boasts unique features that continue to attract an increasing number of tourists. Siwa Oasis, spanning 7,800 square kilometers, holds cultural, biological, and environmental significance, declared a national reserve in 2002.

Jordan’s Goods Village: A natural haven

Goods Village in Jordan stands out for its picturesque landscapes, featuring valleys, mountains, and plateaus adorned with Roman olives and distinctive vegetation—an extension of the natural style of WadiFaynan and Dana Nature Reserve.

Lebanese Legacy: Douma Village

In Lebanon, Douma Village’s rich history, stunning location at an altitude of 1,200 meters above sea level, and agricultural character have been preserved over the years. The village proudly showcases numerous historical and cultural monuments.

Asia’s floral marvels: Dongbaek and Shirakawa

Dongbaek Village on South Korea’s Jeju Island is renowned for its camellia flowers, focusing on organizing cooperatives for locals to sell camellia seeds and nurture the island’s plants. In Japan, Shirakawa Village in Gifu Prefecture has become a winter favorite, offering a visually captivating scene with snow-covered thatched houses.

Cultural havens in China and India

Four villages in China, including Xijiang, where traditions like tea-making and Chinese opera are taught to visitors, made the list. In India, the village of Dordu in the Rann of Kutch salt desert has successfully grown and rebuilt after the 2001 earthquake, thanks to a thoughtful tourism strategy.

European charms: Siguenza, Slunj, and Ordino

In Spain, Siguenza has become a popular weekend retreat near Madrid, known for its 12th-century cathedral and proximity to Barranco del Río Dulce Natural Park. Croatia’s Slunj receives acclaim for preserving traditions while developing eco-friendly travel infrastructure. Andorra’s village of Ordino, despite being less famous, is celebrated for its agricultural history and two UNESCO-listed local festivals.

South American treasures: Peru’s Quintet and More

Peru leads in South America, with five recognized villages. Yanque serves as the gateway to the little-visited ruins of OyuOyu and Colca Canyon’s hot springs. Chacas, another Peruvian village, is the entrance to Huascaran National Park, a UNESCO-recognized reserve. The UNWTO list extends to CaletaTortel in Chile, a village with local cypress-built buildings, and La Carolina in Argentina, once part of the famous gold rush.

The United Nations World Tourism Organization celebrates the global diversity of tourist villages, promoting sustainable tourism practices and cultural preservation.

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