Marseilles has been chosen to host the IUCN World Conservation Congress in September 2021(Congrès mondial de la nature) because of the outstanding approach taken by the municipality that combines sustainable development and biodiversity conservation.
The Aix Marseille Provence Convention Bureau, with its commitment to leave a legacy to the IUCN congress and in order to strengthen the collective motivation triggered by the bid, has joined the GDS-Index. This will enable deeper strategy development and will benchmark its achievements against a rigorous set of environmental, social and DMO management criteria.
Marseille is a rarity in France with 35% of its area dedicated to natural parks. Some of this is protected by the Calanques National Park, the only National Park in Europe with continental, marine and peri-urban areas, tucked in between a large metropolis and a natural environment.
Aix Marseille Provence Convention Bureau is part of a network including Aix Marseille Provence Office of Tourisme, The city of Marseille, Aix Marseille Provence Metropolis and the Aix Marseille Provence Convention Bureau’s 91 partners. It is likely that signing up to the GDS-Index will impact policy development at a regional level.
Marseille is already one of nine pilot cities signed up to the Sustainable Innovative Destination and in process with the ISO 20121 certification. The Marseille Chanot Convention Centre is now certified ISO 20121.
Aix Marseille Metropolis current policy focusses on improved air quality, preserving biodiversity and protecting water resources. Renewable energy is part of the Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolitan Climate-Air-Energy Plan, a 300 million € initiative that will help to create a low-emission zone in downtown Marseille and support municipalities in transitioning to energy efficient properties.
It will also accelerate the development of connections to the power grid of ships at the quayside to the electrical grid and to hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
Maxime Tissot, General Manager of Marseille Tourism and Convention Bureau had this to say: “The Aix Marseille Provence Convention Bureau is committed to a sustainable development approach in order to steer business tourism, its stakeholders and its event industry towards more environmentally friendly tourism. The Global Destination Sustainability index is the best way to benchmark our destination and progress.”
Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the Global Destination Sustainability Movement shared his delight by commenting, ”Marseille is one of the shining stars of the Mediterranean, and their continued leadership with sustainability is, and will, continue to give them a competitive edge, while tourism and particular events are used to catalyse regeneration.”
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