Towards a sustainable visitor economy for the city

Sustainability is an increasing concern for our members. With the growing environmental and social pressures facing cities, we need greater action and collaboration to accelerate the development of more sustainable destinations.

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 last June, 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.

The GDS-Index is a practical and tested benchmarking approach. It has been proven to help DMO create, improve and promote destination sustainability strategies.

European Cities Marketing (ECM) is the newest partner to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index). The GDS-Index is a collaborative partnership between ICCAICCA’s Scandinavian ChapterIMEXMCI Group and ECM. It aims to promote the sustainable growth of international meeting destinations, highlighting best practices and responsible business tourism.

ECM will support the GDS-Index to engage with convention, leisure and city marketing professionals, and facilitate the communication and collaboration between cities to improve the sustainability of their destinations.

Currently 47 cities in 5 continents have joined the GDS-Index and are participating in all processes which aim to:

  • Benchmark the sustainability of their destinations and their meeting and events industry
  • Implement and improve the strategies of their Destination Management Organizations (DMO)
  • Promote their responsible business initiatives and best practices to their clients, peers and other key stakeholders
  • Engage and inspire clients to prize destinations with solid event sustainability initiatives