Creating better places to live, meet & thrive in

7th Jun, 2019

The Global Destination Sustainability Index’s Whitepaper highlights trends and strategies undertaken by 47 leading cities to become regenerative hubs for economic, social and environmental development.

At the European Cities Marking Conference, the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) released their third Whitepaper that details the case studies, data analysis and the actions taken by 47 Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) and municipalities to become destinations of choice for meetings, events and business tourism.

The whitepaper defines six converging mega trends that present destinations and the Event Industry with opportunities to improve their performance and adapt to the risks presented by climate breakdown, ecocide, demographic shifts, social change and digitalisation.

It highlights four fundamental building blocks for DMOs to become sustainable destination stewards and changemakers and defines eight tactics on how destinations can integrate sustainability into their core strategy and become leaders in future-oriented collaboration.

According to MCI’s CEO Sébastien Tondeur, “Scientific predictions about the rate and effect of human impact on climate and our living planet are increasing in certainty and accuracy. As an industry we need to step up, scale up and speed up our sustainability efforts. Destinations are key to the transformation of our industry, and the GDS-Index is an important catalyst helping them transform.”

Petra Stusek, ECM President, comments that “Destination Management Organisations are evolving into destination stewards and changemakers. They are progressively taking a bigger role in accelerating their city’s sustainable development plan. Through this report the GDS-index is sharing best practice and pieces of wisdom with the ultimate goal of supporting other destinations to focus on sustainable growth.”

Senthil Gopinath, CEO of ICCA, comments: “ICCA is proud to provide strategic support to the GDS-Index and contribute to the ever-growing sustainability of the global meetings industry. Alongside our global community of member-suppliers and international associations, we continuously seek to ensure every aspect of our strategic planning, events and general activities strongly adheres to and promotes best practices in sustainability.”

Carina Bauer, CEO of IMEX Group, mentions that “the economic, social and environmental significance of the Events Industry is massive. We could influence safe and fair working conditions for 26 million jobs, direct $1.5 trillion USD towards more responsible supply chains, and inspire 1.5 billion participants to action. Our industry has a decisive role in the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and its 17 SDGs. The next couple of years represent a serous tipping point for us all - and for the generations to come.”

Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the GDS-Index adds: “Driven by concerned students, citizens, local governments and corporations a new era of sustainability is rising, and will touch every corner of the events industry. We believe that a better and more restorative global future lies in urban innovation and collaborative action. The GDS-Index plays a key role to engage, inspire and enable destinations to become more sustainable places to visit, meet and thrive in.”

Please download the whitepaper here.

The 2019 GDS-Index benchmarking period is open for existing and new destinations until September 5th. 

For more information or to join the GDS-Index please contact:

Guy Bigwood, Managing Director

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