A total of 1.5 billion people participate in meetings annually (EIC, 2018). If these were to form their own country it would be the largest in the world. The meetings and events industry thus carries an enormous responsibility, as it has to manage the environmental, social, and economic impact of this gigantic number of participants.
In order to promote a sustainable form of management of meetings and events, the Global Destination Sustainability Index just released its data for 2019. In this, it has ranked the sustainability performance of 50 global business tourism and events destinations, to share their best practices, create healthy competition, and encourage collaboration.
In the 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. Alongside 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.
As part of the closing ceremony of the 58th ICCA Congress in Houston, three destinations were recognised for their excellent performance in the past year. One of the awards went to the destination with the highest score (Gothenburg), the other to the most innovative city (Sydney), and the third went to the destination who has seen the largest score increase. For the first time in the history of the GDS-Index, an entire region received this award. Lynda Reilly of Meet In Ireland was representing Kerry, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Cork in receiving the GDS-Index Most Improved Award. All of these destinations deserve recognition and celebration for their collective effort.
Many other destinations also deserve recognition for their efforts. To explore the detailed results for these destinations please visit: www.bit.ly/RESULTS2019
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