The Birgi village of the Aegean province of İzmir’s Ödemiş district has been added to the 2022 Best Tourism Villages List announced by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The list determined every year by UNWTO announces Birgi village as one of the best tourism villages this year, while Birgi was also included on the UNESCO Cultural Heritage List in 2012.
Candidates for the best tourism villages to be included on the list were evaluated on nine criteria consisting of cultural and natural resources, protection and promotion of cultural values, economic sustainability, social sustainability, environmental sustainability, tourism development and integration of the value chain, infrastructure and accessibility, health, safety and security.
Some 130 applications were submitted from 57 countries for the 2022 competition, while with the support of the Culture and Tourism Ministry,Cumalıkızık village in the northwestern province of Bursa and Anıtlı village in the southeastern province of Mardin were also among the candidate villages along with Birgi.
As a result of the evaluation, Birgi managed to be among the best 32 entrepreneur tourism villages in the world this year.
In addition, the historical Birgi village will be included in the UNWTO Best Entrepreneurial Tourism Villages Network as the Birgi village project prepared by the Ödemiş Municipality is among the first 32 projects in the world.
The award ceremony of the competition, which aims to develop rural tourism, will be held in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia, on Feb. 27-28.
Ödemiş Mayor Mehmet Eriş stated that his municipality has made every effort for promoting the historical village.
“We are pleased with this success, which once again made the name of Birgi resonate, our UNESCO World Heritage candidate, where civilization and settlement have existed in every period of history,” Eriş expressed.
Reminding that the archaeologist, painter, poet and writer Emin Başaranbilek, who made great contributions to the preservation of the historical texture in Birgi, lost his life recently, Eriş stated that this success came on the day Başaranbilek passed away.
“We will continue to work with all our might to transfer the historical atmosphere of Birgi, which has engraved its name in history as the capital of the Beylik of Aydın [in the Seljuk dynasty period], to the future. We will work for Birgi, which comes to the fore in tourism with its natural beauties and faith tourism,” Eriş added.