As we bounce back from a variety of challenges but face increasing pressure to cope with a changing world, the common sentiment, “be here now” is not enough anymore; we need to be better.
Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions earn high turnover, but – when mismanaged – can also earn a bad reputation, causing harm instead of helping a place, its people, and the planet to flourish. We think of this state of mismanagement as #BusinessAsUsual, the baseline that must be replaced.
Vision and action can transform harmful impacts into thriving ones, using holistic strategy as levers for positive change, and, ultimately, legacy. To GDS-Movement, that’s #BusinessUnusual, a better way.
By being here better, you(r organisation) can help develop a shared “well-th” that supports thriving places and communities activated by regenerative tourism and events.
There’s a whole movement of cities on your side, 100+ destinations measuring and managing their positive social, environmental, and economic impacts with every business and leisure visitor, company, or community. Look at the growth in their progress.
Average sustainability contributions from destinations participating in the GDS-Index now exceed pre-pandemic levels!
How “being better” looks IRL
Here are some examples from leading destinations.
Better Destination Strategy
Destination: Republic of Singapore
Challenge: As demand for sustainable travel have grown, Singapore took steps to develop a strategy to match its status as a sustainable travel destination.
Solution: Singapore Tourism Board developed a vision to become a City in Nature, where “Large Experiences come with Small Footprints”.
Impact: By focusing on becoming a more sustainable urban destination, building a more sustainable tourism sector, and showcasing this, it was able to build capability, create innovative products and initiatives, develop education around better travel, and build awareness for residents and visitors.
Better Environment and Cultural Inclusion
Destination: Republic of Palau
Challenge: Transform everyday tourism in Palau so that this essential share of its GDP (85%!) also contributes to its social and environmental well-being.
Solution: An app that rewards sustainable behaviour by unlocking exclusive experiences if visitors follow its prompts to respect its fragile ecosystems and its local peoples.
Impact: The programme incentivises responsible tourism practices in suppliers and visitors alike, and actively educates users to grasp the reality that, in some settings, money can’t buy you everything.
More: Ol’au Palau Campaign
Better Legacy Through Business Events
Destination: Helsinki, Finland
Challenge: Support meetings and conference organisers to make more sustainable choices, from venue selection to communicating achievements to stakeholders, clients, partners, and network.
Impact: My Helsinki tracks related activities, from circular economy and social contributions by venues and hotels to congress delegates’ environmental volunteering, and lists them on a dedicated page on its website, available to all.
This content also appeared at IMEX Frankfurt 2023:
If you’d like to join the movement, we invite you to take action now
- Discover more destinations doing better in the 2022 GDS-Index report
- Enrol your team in a masterclass to tell your destination’s sustainability story
- Sign up for our monthly newsletter full of news, impacts, and inspiration
- Start measuring (and improving!) your destination’s sustainability performance
- Upgrade/create your destination’s sustainability strategy with hands-on help from experts