The 2022 Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) showcases brave, bold and pioneering destinations that both recognise that we urgently need to work together to regenerate our cities and towns, and who actively work towards creating places where visitors, communities, and nature can thrive and flourish.
Post-pandemic changes to how people commute, commune, work, and travel are prompting cities and tourism to change. Digital enhancements are transforming the visitor experience and a post COVID-19 rebound has caused a surge in travel and events. Meanwhile, the impacts of climate change and biodiversity collapse that tourism and events contribute to are increasing, and these extremes are forcing cities to change as they transition towards a zero-carbon economy.
At the same time, more people – and especially the young (Gen Y and Z) – are feeling increasing levels of concern about the impacts of travelling and pressure to act, not only on climate change, but on social injustice. In general, there is growing impatience with slow, incremental change, and what is wanted – and needed – is radical transformation now.
All these factors influence tourism, and its role in economic, environmental, and social sustainability has risen to the top of the transformation agenda as the 2022 GDS-Index results demonstrate. They highlight a surge of new strategies, actions, and initiatives from destination management organisations around the world.
“GDS-Movement salutes its members’ continuous commitment to measuring and managing the sustainability contributions of their tourism and events,” says Guy Bigwood, Chief Changemaker and CEO, GDS-Movement. “Every step in the journey towards a destination’s social, environmental, and economic well-being counts dramatically and all GDS-Index participants are stewards of positive change. Given the reach of Business Events, it’s critical that this sector, specifically, further leverages the opportunity to act now, raise the bar, and invest in a thriving destination on a journey towards greater regenerative destination management, today and going forward. Working together, we all win.”