Top 10 Sustainable Destinations for Business Events in 2019

The 2019 ranking of the sustainability performance of global business tourism and events destinations are revealed at the closing ceremony of the 58th ICCA Congress held in Houston.

The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) is the leading sustainability benchmarking and improvement programme for business tourism and events destinations around the world. The GDS-Index serves as a collaborative and competitive platform for Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) that promotes the sustainable growth of destinations, regions and countries through knowledge sharing, capacity building, strategy development and certification. Increasingly, the GDS Index is being used on a political level to allow local governments to evaluate their progress in sustainability

In this fourth year of benchmarking, the GDS Index developed and aligned a more demanding set of criteria with other significant stakeholders including the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the Social Progress Imperative and the Events Industry Council. With the help of an external technical advisory board, this process has brought transparency, rigour and additional value to the GDS Index, further embedding its use in the Meetings, Events and Tourism sectors.

The GDS-Index benchmarks performance across four key areas: city’s environmental strategy and infrastructure; city’s social sustainability performance; industry supplier support; and the destination management organisation’s strategy and initiatives.

Top 10 Destinations are as follows:

gds index top10 2019

Gothenburg came top of the list of cities in the GDS-Index for the fourth year running. With a score of 89.64 out of a possible 100 points, and with a 7% improvement from last year, Gothenburg received the 2019 GDS-Index Leadership Award.

Annika Hallman Director at Gothenburg Convention Bureau shares: “The GDS-Index has been a powerful lever in our sustainability work. It has helped us to improve performance and inspire others to become more sustainable. We have lectured and received study visits from other cities and used our top position to drive the sustainable development of the global meeting industry, as well as strengthening Gothenburg’s profile as a leading congress and convention destination”.

The 2019 GDS-Index results demonstrate that DMOs are in action on sustainability with a 29% increase in terms of overall performance from 2018. New destinations who advanced into the top 10 included Aalborg and Dublin, with significant jumps in performance for Glasgow, Sydney, and Zurich.

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