By Obegi Malack
Olergesailie Village has been voted among the Best Tourism Villages in the world by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
The announcement was made during 24th UNWTO General Assembly in Spain on Thursday.
Olergesailie is in Oltepesi Kajiado West along Magadi road.It was recognized for embracing tourism to provide opportunity and drive sustainable development.
A total 174 villages were proposed by 75 UNWTO Member States (each Member State could present a maximum of three villages) for the 2021 pilot initiative. Among which 44 were recognized as Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO.
Another 20 villages will enter the Upgrade Programme of the Initiative. All 64 villages enter to make part of the UNWTO Best Tourism Villages Network
The ‘Best Tourism Villages by UNWTO’Recognizes villages which are an outstanding example of a rural tourism destination with recognized cultural and natural assets, that preserve and promote rural and community-based values, products and lifestyle and have a clear commitment to innovation and sustainability in all its aspects – economic, social and environmental.
Charles Leshore director Maa Museum and Centre for Indigenous Culture said the recognition calls for strategic action points towards the development of rural tourism.
“This is an honour of Maa forefathers and elders our honourable custodians of land culture and heritage, they are today benefiting from what I call milking the Rhino. We dedicate the best tourism villages to the next generation” he said.
Leshore who has been researching about the village and had sent the proposals for the recognition said the acknowledgment will contribute in promoting tourism, culture and heritage a driver of rural development.
It will also contribute wellbeing of communities especially after Covid-19 and effects of climate change and advance the role of culture, heritage and tourism in valuing and safeguarding rural villages.
The village hosts conference venue for donkeys on leave and “factory of stone tools” and the only place in the world with the largest number of hand axes and representing some of the first camping places of early man.