Three Swiss winners of the world “tourism village” awards

Gruyeres, canton of Fribourg. Keystone / Laurent Gillieron

Three Swiss towns have been named as part of a series of “Best Tourist Villages” announced by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

This content was published on December 2, 2021 – 18:51

“No other country has had so much success” in the charts, the rather proud Swiss authorities announced on Thursday. Indeed, among the 44 “best tourist villages” designated by the UNWTO were Gruyères, Saas-Fee and Valposchiavo – towns with a “strong orientation towards sustainable development, proximity to local agriculture, and which offer great added value to their region, via tourism”, according to a declarationExternal link by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO).

Saas Fee, canton of Valais. Keystone / Martin Ruetschi

The “Better Tourist Villages” initiative was launched to “advance the role of tourism in safeguarding rural villages, as well as their landscapes, natural and cultural diversity, and local values ​​and activities, including local gastronomy”, UNWTO ExplainExternal link. At the organization’s general assembly in Madrid this week, a total of 44 villages from 32 countries received recognition for 2021.

Lake Poschiavo, canton of Grisons. Keystone / Arno Balzarini

The village of Gruyères (house of the eponymous cheese) is located in the canton of Fribourg, in the south-west of the country; Saas-Fee is a mountain village in the canton of Valais in the Alps to the south; and Valposchiavo is in the Italian-speaking corner of the canton of Grisons in southeastern Switzerland (see photos below).

Along with a symbolic trophy (and a sense of pride), the villages will all benefit from global media campaigns organized by the UN body, SECO said on Thursday.

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