October 23, 2023 – A small Croatian village has made it onto the prestigious UNWTO list of World’s Best Tourism Villages! The list includes villages or small towns in rural areas that, according to UNWTO criteria, are leaders in nurturing rural areas, preserving the landscape, cultural diversity, local values, and culinary traditions.
As Green writes, a small place in Karlovac County, which lies on the rivers Slunjčica and Korana, delighted the World Tourism Organisation with its beauty, but also with its ecological and sustainable approach to tourism.
As you might have guessed, this special recognition went to the Croatian village of Slunj. As of this week, you can find Slunj on the list of the best tourist villages in the world as chosen by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The prestigious competition included 260 rural destinations in the world, and Slunj found its place in the 54th position.
Why is Slunj One of World’s Best Tourism Villages?
Located on the beautiful banks of the rivers Slunjčica and Korana, Slunj strategically uses tourism as a catalyst for rural development, while at the same time prioritizing the preservation of its rich natural and cultural heritage. The village recognizes the need to mitigate the potential negative impacts of tourism through the application of sustainable practices, the protection of protected landscapes, and investments in physical and digital infrastructure.
The “Water Secrets” project stands out as proof of this commitment and is focused on the responsible management of the landscapes of Slunjčica and Rastoke. Through innovative initiatives, such as interpretive trails and improved infrastructure, the project aims to enhance visitor experiences while ensuring sustainable use of the region’s natural treasures.
In addition to the emphasis on tourism, Slunj attaches great importance to the preservation of its cultural heritage. Traditional practices, including local songs, dances, and religious rites, are actively promoted, contributing to the city’s unique identity. Restoration projects of historic buildings and events that showcase traditional crafts further emphasize Slunj’s commitment to the preservation of cultural heritage.
Events like “Mill Day” celebrate local intangible heritage, encouraging community engagement and a sense of pride. With its landscapes protected under the Natura 2000 program and various green projects, Slunj is aligned with the global call for environmental responsibility.