Vienna Joins the Global Destination Sustainability Index

25th Nov, 2019

The capital of Austria, Vienna, is the newest partner to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index). The GDS-Index is the world’s leading benchmarking and performance improvement program for business tourism and events destinations.

The GDS-Index is delighted to announce that Vienna has joined its performance improvement programme in order to further accelerate the sustainability of its meetings.  Vienna - one of the world’s leading meeting destinations - is the 57th city to have joined the GDS-Index and is participating in the collaborative platform to:

  • Benchmark the sustainability of their destination and their meeting and events industry;
  • Improve the sustainability strategy of their Convention Bureau and Destination Management Organizations;
  • Engage and inspire clients to prize destinations with solid event sustainability initiatives;
  • Share their responsible business initiatives and best practices with their clients, peers and other key stakeholders;

Guy Bigwood, Managing Director for the GDS-Index comments; “Austria has a strong legacy in sustainability through the Austrian Ecolabel which exists for many categories like Products, Tourism and Green Meetings. The Austrian Ecolabel for Green Meetings and Green Events is the first national environmental label which allows the certification of a whole event, and highlights the pioneering spirit which will hopefully see Vienna become one of the most sustainable destinations of the GDS-Index. We are excited that this world-class meeting destination is joining the sustainability movement through our expanding global platform.”

Highlighting why Vienna has chosen to participate in the GDS-Index, Norbert Kettner, CEO of the Vienna Tourist Board, said: “Vienna’s decision to join the GDS-Index dovetails seamlessly with our 2025 Visitor Economy Strategy, which is geared towards the city’s environmentally, financially and socially sustainable development as a tourism and meetings destination. Under the strategy, the capital is committed to upholding the UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and meeting the UN’s Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The GDS-Index is a valuable benchmark for the meetings industry, one of Vienna’s strong points. But it also sets an example for the entire destination, which is dedicated to generating added value for the city, as well as its guests, residents and businesses.”

Vienna is an exceptional city in many ways. It is the most liveable city in the world according to its #1 rank in the 2019 Global Liveability Index; it is the #1 city in the 2019 Smart City Index; and the leading association for the international meetings industry, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), has measured that Vienna is the #2 most popular destination for running meetings and events in the world.

Christian Woronka, head of the Vienna Tourist Board’s Convention Bureau, said: “As a meetings destination, Vienna has already taken sustainability to new levels, and by participating in the GDS-Index the city wants to step up its efforts on this front and make them more visible. Together with its strong network partners, like ICCA and ECM, the Austrian capital wants to assume responsibility and play a part in shaping both the present and the future. The GDS-Index doesn’t just serve as a benchmark; it is a platform for mutual learning and for sharing know-how effectively.”

For more information please contact:

Guy Bigwood
ManagingDirector of the Global Destination Sustainability Index

Walter Strasser
Corporate Public Relations, Vienna Tourist Board | Vienna Convention Bureau

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