The Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo was recognised as one of the "Best Tourist Villages", among 170 candidates from 75 countries, in the first edition of the "UNWTO Best Tourist Villages", an initiative promoted by the World Tourism Organisation.
The first edition of the "Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO" initiative, promoted by the World Tourism Organization, honoured villages around the world that are truly committed to the promotion and preservation of their cultural and historical heritage, and promoters of sustainable tourism. By the example of the "Best Tourism Villages", the World Tourism Organisation aims to demonstrate that tourism can be a positive force for rural development and the well-being of communities.
The recognition of the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo as one of the "Best Tourist Villages", chosen among 170 nominations from 75 countries, is a clear demonstration of its exceptional value. The nomination of the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo for "Best Tourist Village" was made at the invitation of Turismo de Portugal to the Historical Villages of Portugal. The concerted work between the two entities culminated in the presentation of a nomination, which turned out to be the winner. The official announcement of the "Best Tourism Villages 2021" took place this Thursday (2 December) at the 24th General Assembly of the World Tourism Organisation, held in Madrid (Spain). The Secretary of State for Tourism, Rita Marques, and the Mayor of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, Carlos Condesso, attended the event.
For Amadeu Neves, interim president of the board of directors of the Historical Villages of Portugal: "The merit of this nomination results from the path we have been travelling in the field of sustainability and innovation since 2016, taking the Network to a stage that aspires to achieve sustainable development. It is therefore with great joy that we learn that the main body of the tourism sector (UNTWO) has recognised the ongoing trajectory, through the classification of the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo as "Best Tourist Village", thus dignifying the collective work, commitment and involvement of all those who with us, day by day, make it possible. As interim president of the board of directors of the Historical Villages of Portugal - Association for Tourist Development, on behalf of the Network of Historical Villages of Portugal, our warmest congratulations. This is an award that we share with everyone, but specifically with the people of the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo".
Carlos Condesso, Mayor of Figueira de Castelo Rodrigo, is pleased that the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo has received this award, "in such a large universe of nominations. This award is the recognition of the work developed over decades by several local agents, politicians and by Turismo de Portugal and the Associação das Aldeias Históricas de Portugal, who carried out this candidacy. This is an award that I dedicate to all the citizens of the region, especially to the inhabitants of Castelo Rodrigo, because they are the ones who give life to this village and also to all those who have visited this magnificent Historical Village and who have valued it so much. This distinction confirms that the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo and the other 11 villages of the network are on the right path, to continue developing work at the level of environmental sustainability and promotion and dissemination, in order to attract even more tourist flows to these low-density territories, which have so much potential to be explored. I invite all citizens to visit Castelo Rodrigo, one of the best tourist villages in the world, and to immerse themselves in the magnificent tangible and intangible heritage that this village treasures".
With a hundred or so inhabitants and considerable economic activity, the Historical Village of Castelo Rodrigo (Guarda district) is situated on a hilltop with a breathtaking view of the Côa valley. Surrounded by an ancient wall, it is a veritable open-air museum, with the imposing ruins of the castle and the palace of Cristóvão de Moura, but also the medieval setting, consisting of several buildings of Manueline and Moorish architecture.
This is a new award for the Historical Villages of Portugal, after having received this year, the distinction of best Portuguese destination in Spain, by the radio Onda Cero Extremadura, and its new promotional film, "De Corpo e Alma", has won the award for the Best Tourism Film in the World in the largest tourism film competition worldwide, the "World's Best Tourism Film Awards - CIFFT Circuit". Remember also that the Historical Villages of Portugal were the first networked destination - on a global scale - and the first Portuguese destination to receive the Biosphere Destination certification.