The GDS-Movement evolved from the Global Destination Sustainability Index; the world’s leading sustainability benchmarking and performance improvement program for destinations, and their visitor economy.
The GDS-Index was inspired by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Scandinavian chapter and MCI, where 15 pioneering cities created the Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index. It has since evolved into a collaborative partnership between ICCA, IMEX Group, City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA), MCI and GUBI Consulting.
Birth: The dream for a Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index takes root in Gothenburg, through the collaborative effort of ICCA's Scandinavian Chapter and MCI.
Baby Steps: The first benchmarking results go live for the Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index.
Going Global: After the concept showed great outcomes, ICCA Scandinavian Chapter, ICCA, IMEX Group, and MCI sign an MOU to create the Global Destination Sustainability Index.
Growing Partnerships: European Cities Marketing (now City Destinations Alliance or CityDNA) partners with the GDS-Index.
Growing Destinations: The GDS-Index reaches 50 destinations.
Regeneration: The Global Destination Sustainability Movement emerges out of the need to drive the regeneration of destinations. The portfolio of services expands to include consulting, education, and training.
Reset: The pandemic gives us all the opportunity to rethink and reprioritise.
We continue to measure sustainability performance and double down on support for destinations with tailored Feeling the Pulse webinars.
We launch GDS-Academy in partnership with ICCA and City Destinations Alliance, with the flagship, open-enrolment GDS-ICCA-CityDNA Certificate in Regenerative Destination Management headlining the offerings. The Storytelling and Communication Strategies for Regeneration Masterclass, Regenerative Events Management Masterclass, and Impact Strategy and Measurement Masterclass are available in-house.
Refine:The year’s GDS-Index data reveals that the sustainability contributions of participating destinations now exceed pre-pandemic levels.
GDS-Consulting branches out into events.
GDS-Academy picks up speed, developing bespoke programmes for destinations.
Expand: We broaden our expertise in close partnership with Meet4impact, and sharpen our climate focus with CUR8.
Regenerative Event Management trends in workshops, and GDS-Index hits 100+ destinations.
Globally, we see increasing activity in regional tourism including national bodies and increasing interest in our bespoke in-house GDS-Academy Masterclasses.
We celebrate the launch of the GDS-Forum and a new Impact award.