Gujarat’s Dhordo Village Receives UNWTO Best Tourism Village Award for 2023

Dhordo, a remote village in the Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, India, has been selected as one of the UNWTO’s (United Nations World Tourism Organization) Best Tourism Villages for 2023. This recognition signifies a significant achievement for the village, the Kutch region, and the state of Gujarat and serves as a global model for responsible tourism, cultural diversity and rural development. Dhordo is one of 54 villages globally honoured as Best Tourism Villages in 2023.

What Is The UNWTO Best Tourism Village Award?

The UNWTO Best Tourism Villages initiative seeks to honour rural communities worldwide that excel in innovation, sustainability, cultural preservation, and community engagement, all in the realm of tourism. These awards highlight the value of immersive and authentic tourism experiences in rural destinations, showcasing how sustainable tourism can drive positive change for local communities. This distinction aims to promote sustainable tourism practices and encourage rural development.

Why Dhordo Village?

Dhordo Village was selected as one of the Best Tourism Villages for 2023 due to its exceptional natural and cultural attractions, unwavering commitment to sustainable tourism, promotion of rural development, and positive impact on the local community.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals and Economic Impact

Key Reasons for Dhordo’s Selection

1. Unique Landscape: Situated in the captivating Rann of Kutch, Dhordo boasts a distinctive environment and hosts cultural attractions, including the famous Rann Utsav festival, making it a hub for cultural and eco-tourism.

2. Sustainability: The village embraces renewable energy sources, and sustainable waste management, and takes great care in preserving local handicrafts and heritage.

3. Economic Opportunities: The burgeoning tourism in Dhordo has created numerous economic opportunities and jobs for local residents, providing them with improved livelihoods.

4. Community Involvement: The local community actively played a pivotal role in driving the village’s sustainable development, underscoring the significance of community engagement.

What Makes Dhordo Village Special?

Dhordo’s charm lies in its remarkable attractions and assets:

• Rann of Kutch: One of the world’s largest salt deserts, it transforms into an inland sea during monsoon season and reveals breathtaking white salt flats in winter.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals and Economic Impact

• Luxurious Accommodations: Dhordo offers the opulent White Rann Resort and traditional Kutchi-style tents with modern amenities at Dhordo Tent City run by Praveg Limited.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals and Economic Impact

• Rann Utsav: A three-month-long festival celebrating Kutch’s culture with music, dance, camel safaris, and exquisite local cuisine.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals and Economic Impact

• Diverse Wildlife: The Rann is home to an array of wildlife, including flamingos, pelicans, wild donkeys, nilgai, and even lions, while millions of migratory birds pass through each year.

• Historical Sites: The village boasts historical sites such as the 18th-century Dhordo Fort ruins.

• Traditional Crafts: Nearby villages are known for traditional crafts like ajrak block printing and mud work, and the renowned Kutch Museum houses Indus Valley artefacts.

Foreign Tourist Arrivals and Economic Impact

What’s Its Impact On the Local Community?

Tourism has played a transformative role in promoting rural development in Dhordo and its surroundings:

• Job Creation: Tourism has led to job opportunities in areas such as hospitality, guiding, handicrafts, and cultural performances, with many locals employed in the tent city and during Rann Utsav.

• Infrastructure Improvements: The influx of tourists has driven the development of new roads, bridges, water facilities, and sanitation infrastructure.

• Economic Opportunities: Villagers have had the chance to showcase their handicrafts and other products, enriching their livelihoods.

• Cultural Heritage Promotion: Festivals like Rann Utsav play a pivotal role in preserving and promoting Kutch’s cultural heritage.

• Improved Quality of Life: Overall, the community’s quality of life has significantly improved thanks to sustainable tourism development.

In summary, the UNWTO award validates Dhordo as a model village and raises its profile as a prominent tourism destination, potentially attracting more domestic and international visitors and boosting the popularity of rural tourism in India. It also serves as a beacon for rural development, demonstrating how tourism can empower local communities when managed responsibly.

Visitors are encouraged to explore Dhordo during the winter months, from November to February, when the weather is most pleasant and the village’s top attractions are at their best. Dreamers Worldwide, come home at Praveg White Rann Resort and know what made the world see Dhordo as a special one.