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The GDS-Index: From Top 20 to Top 30

The GDS-Index: From Top 20 to Top 30

A sustainability ranking is vital to marketing and managing a destination, and the GDS-Movement has responded to its growing community by listing the Top 30 of the GDS-Index benchmarking scores in 2022

We are pleased to announce that we’re expanding from Top 20 to Top 30. The 2022 Top 30 will be published early November right after we announce the winners of the Leadership, Most Improved, and Innovation awards at the 61st ICCA Congress in Krakow, Poland, running 6 – 9 November (you can register here).

We would like to emphasise that all participating destinations are leaders, no matter where they are in their journey to regeneration. It takes dedication, collaboration, and creativity to “be the change we need to see” in the world, and we salute every single DMO, CVB, or municipality that joins GDS-Index.

Destinations participating in the GDS-Index know that the GDS-Movement empowers their sustainability journey with radical and strategic collaboration borne out of great strategy.

Through the annual GDS-Index, we measure and assess the sustainability strategies and practices of a DMO. We verify the assessments that the destinations have submitted in accordance with a methodology designed in collaboration with our Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

In past years the GDS-Index has announced the Top 20 performers. You can view the ‘Ranking and Results’ section of the 2021 results page for more.


GDS-Index Ranking and Results advanced search

You can

– view the Top 20 for 2021 by overall score,

– sort the Top 20 by percentage improved, and

– sort the Top 20 list by city size, index criteria category, or region,

using the filters.

You can do the same for the 2019 results, but we paused public results during the pandemic out of respect for the challenges the global tourism and events sector was experiencing. And that got us thinking, should we limit the ranking to just 20 destinations as the GDS-Movement grows, or expand it? We discussed this internally and surveyed our participating destinations for input.

Cities and regions participating in the GDS-Index moulded the outcome in a super-quick survey that cast their vote securely. It was an overwhelming “yes” to include more destinations.

We love this because it was a democratic process, and because we believe (and practise!) progress over perfection. We feel that every destination on its journey in social, economic, and environmental awareness and action counts toward the greater good. For us, the triumph is in stepping up to be counted and focusing on continuous improvement through refined and responsive sustainability strategies. Together they can have an exponential positive impact.

Will the list grow as the community grows? Time and participating destinations will tell, so if you want to be part of the change at every level, step up and find out more about what the GDS-Index can do for your destination.


These 2022 results will be live just after the ICCA Congress, 6 – 9 Nov 2022, where we’ll announce the GDS-Movement Innovation Award as well as the GDS-index Leadership and Most Improved awards winners in a dedicated ceremony. ICCA members can register here

We will celebrate successes in a dedicated Feeling the Pulse webinar on 15 November, 10h00 CET. Join us for free to discover destination sustainability trends in 2022 and meet the winners. Register here



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