VALENCIA, SPAIN – 5 October 2023
We are pleased to share the year’s GDS-Movement and partner awards.
These prestigious awards, presented during the GDS-Awards ceremony in partnership with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), were revealed during the 2023 GDS-Forum hosted in Valencia, Spain. The event was made possible by VISIT VALÈNCIA, City Destinations Alliance, and GDS-Movement.
GDS-Movement, renowned for its commitment to driving sustainability in the tourism and events industry, honours destinations that lead the way in sustainability initiatives, those that have shown remarkable improvements, and those that are pushing the boundaries of innovation and impact.
In 2023, the awards ceremony featured an additional category, the GDS-Movement and #MEET4IMPACT Impact Award, in collaboration with #Meet4Impact.
The 2023 GDS-Awards Winners
Awards Based on Score or Ranking
The Leadership and Most Improved Destination award are based on GDS-Index results, the world’s leading destination sustainability benchmarking and improvement programme.
The GDS-Movement Leadership Award
The Leadership Award recognises the destination with the highest score on the GDS-Index, showcasing its continual commitment and measurable impacts.
2023 Winner: Gothenburg, Sweden, represented by Göteborg & Co
“We are immensely proud of winning this award. This is, again, a fantastic and important recognition of Gothenburg’s long-term sustainability work, to us, as a destination, and to all contributing stakeholders. The GDS-Index has been a powerful lever in the development of our destination, and it is great to see, increasingly, more destinations joining in this crucial work.”
– Peter Grönberg, CEO,Göteborg & Co
The GDS-Movement Most Improved Destination Award
The Most Improved Destination Award acknowledges the participating GDS-Index destination with the highest score increase, regardless of its ranking.
2023 Winner: Liverpool, United Kingdom, represented by Liverpool Convention Bureau
“We are so pleased that Liverpool has been recognised as the Most Improved Destination at the GDS Awards for our GDS-Index score. The work undertaken by Jennifer Jensen for Liverpool Convention Bureau in collaboration with our partners and key stakeholders to improve Liverpool’s score over the last few years shows how dedicated we are to sustainable tourism across the region. This is a huge confidence boost for the city’s visitor economy and the start of our journey for making positive change and putting Liverpool on the map as a leading destination for sustainable tourism and events.”
– Susan Finnegan, Acting Head of Visitor Economy for Marketing Liverpool
Awards Based on Merit
For the Innovation Award and the GDS-Movement and new #MEET4IMPACT Impact Award the applications, selected internally by GDS-Movement changemakers, have been passed on to two external panels whose judges will select a winner for each.
Read more about jury and process here.
The GDS-Movement Innovation Award
The GDS-Movement Innovation Award celebrates destinations employing innovative solutions to enhance sustainability performance.
2023 Winner: Washington DC, United States of America, represented by Destination DC at Washington DC
“Destination DC is thrilled to win the GDS-Movement Innovation Award and honoured to be acknowledged for Destination DC’s DEI Fellowship programme as a sustainable and positive solution in hospitality. By engaging closely with our destination’s smaller businesses and community members we can ensure companies that don’t have the financial wherewithal can take advantage of opportunities to get a piece of the pie that is the $8 billion hospitality industry in DC alone. We are proud of this award and the advancement we are making to challenge our industry in DEI and sustainability.”
– Elliott L. Ferguson, II, President and CEO, Destination DC
The GDS-Movement and #MEET4IMPACT Impact Award
The GDS-Movement and #MEET4IMPACT Impact Award highlights a destination management organisation committed to building a positive legacy and impact through business events.
2023 Winner: Sydney, Australia, represented by BESydney
“BESydney has been recognised as a leader in legacy research for decades and we want to build on this foundation to create social impact programmes that leverage business events to generate and measure positive, long-term social, economic and environmental impacts. We know business events have the potential to create incredible positive change for global communities – across all industries. BESydney is taking this responsibility very seriously and is very grateful and humbled by the recognition of our work to date.”
– Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO, Business Events Sydney (BESydney)
With Sustainability, We all Win
Guy Bigwood, CEO and Chief Changemaker of GDS-Movement, stated, “GDS-Movement salutes the 2023 GDS-Awards’ winners for their profound achievements that inspire and inform. Sustainability is a systemic solution where everybody wins, and winning practices can be analysed, borrowed, adapted, and scaled for exponential positive impact. We encourage all destinations to take their cue from these leaders and work together with us to transform tourism and events into a tool for regeneration in every destination on earth.”
Winners receive recognition with on-stage exposure at the 2023 GDS-Awards Ceremony, inclusion in the 2023 GDS-Index report, and had the opportunity to present their initiatives at the dedicated GDS-Movement “Feeling the Pulse” webinar on October 11 and 12, 2023. You can see the recording of that webinar here: