Cyprus’ coastal Pissouri and Kalopanayiotis in the mountains made it onto the UN’s ‘Best Tourism Villages’ of 2022, alongside 30 others ranging from Austria to Vietnam.

The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) recognised the two villages as key locations for being able to develop new opportunities for jobs and income – in a responsible and sustainable way.

Both Pissouri and Kalopanayiotis made it onto the UNWTO’s upgrade programme, meaning that they will receive support in improving elements of the areas identified as gaps.

The 32 villages from 18 countries across five world regions were chosen to heighten awareness of what they have to offer, while preserving and promoting community-based values and products.

Welcoming the news, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “For rural communities everywhere, tourism can be a true gamechanger in providing jobs, supporting local businesses and keeping traditions alive. The Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO showcase the power of the sector to drive economic diversification and create opportunities for all outside of big cities.”