The present paper aims to investigate the role of creative practices for settlements, with a special focus on the 'Associations of the Most Beautiful Villages' in France and Italy. The paper focuses on the critical parameters of a locality related to the attractiveness of villages from the perspective of visitors and the role of the above-mentioned Associations from the perspective of the local population. Data and information used are derived from in-depth questionnaires filled out by relevant experts from 32 villages. In order to achieve this aim, a multivariate statistical technique, viz. logistic regression, is deployed. The study presents the preliminary results of the analysis on the roles of non-profit organisations in the marketing of settlements regarding their performance in terms of creativity, innovativeness and competitiveness. The results show that the Associations play a crucial role in sustainable development and create an attractive image for villages. Copyright © 2009 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.