The GDS-Movement is a pioneering, international change agency that acts to catalyse socio-economic and environmental transformation in cities and regions. We envision thriving places and communities activated by regenerative tourism and events.

Our mission is to empower people with the mindsets, skill sets, and toolsets to create regenerative destinations to visit, meet, and live in. 

Our History

Embarking on a Sustainable Journey: The Evolution of the GDS-Movement 

The GDS-Movement evolved from the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index); the world’s most-trusted performance improvement programme to assess and accelerate the progress of a destination´s regenerative journey. It measures, benchmarks, and enhances the sustainability strategies, action plans, and initiatives of destination management organisations, municipal authorities, and their tourism supply chains, globally. 

It originated from the Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index, created by 15 cities and co-founded in 2016 by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), City Destinations Alliance (CityDNA), IMEX Group, and MCI. The GDS-Index offers an unparalleled resource for visitors and event planners looking for destinations that offer the best in sustainable performance and for indicators of sustainable tourism development.  

Led by Guy Bigwood, a seasoned consultant with 17 years of experience in driving sustainability initiatives, the movement aims to advance regenerative destination management and sustainable events. Guy’s leadership has earned him 22 sustainability awards, including the Events Industry Council Pacesetter Award, and recognition as a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. He leads a dedicated team of changemakers committed to accelerating sustainability efforts and sustainable city examples. Get to know them here. 

In the world of destination sustainability, every step forward is a triumph for people, places, and the planet. The GDS-Movement, born from the vision of creating a more sustainable future for destinations, has a story that traces back to before climate denialism was the norm.

Memberships & Collaborations