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Tucson Joins GDS-Index in Commitment to Sustainability Driven by Data 

Tucson Joins GDS-Index in Commitment to Sustainability Driven by Data 

Strategic steps to protect and invest in an outdoor and cultural hub with social, environmental, and economic benefits

Tucson, Arizona, United States of America – GDS-Movement is proud to announce that Destination Management and Marketing Organisation, Visit Tucson, has joined GDS-Index.

Metro Tucson’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its recent initiatives, including the City of Tucson’s Climate Action Plan, its ranking as the #3 city for climate change resiliency in April 2022, and the launch of Tucson Resilient Together. 

“Tucson’s unique natural environment and rich biological diversity attract visitors from across the globe. Through our participation in the GDS-Index, Visit Tucson is committed to developing regional sustainability strategies to ensure the livelihood of Tucson as the dynamic outdoor and cultural hub of the Sonoran Desert,” said Vanessa Bechtol, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Visit Tucson, who is spearheading the sustainability initiative. 

The City of Tucson and Pima County already has some active sustainability projects in place. Their efforts are reflected in initiatives such as the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and Tucson Water’s One Water 2100 Master Plan. Visit Tucson’s 10-Year Metro Tucson Tourism Master Plan also includes a focus on sustainable tourism strategies. 

The GDS-Index measures and benchmark’s sustainability contributions.  Visit Tucson’s participation in the GDS-Index is a continuation of its commitment to sustainability and will provide a platform for the organisation to measure and track its progress towards its sustainability goals.  

“Tucson’s participation in the GDS-Index, along with being a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and the Delice Network, continues our global commitment to sustainability in tourism, food systems, and sales and marketing practices,” said J. Felipe Garcia, President & CEO at Visit Tucson.  “We look forward to working with our lodging and attractions partners, local non-profits, and city and county government to enhance tourism in Tucson as a sustainable industry.”   

“This is a great next step for Tucson”, says Guy Bigwood, CEO and Chief Changemaker at GDS-Movement. “We’re excited to see this vibrant destination deepen its existing sustainability efforts and make inroads into new ones that together develop a positive legacy with beneficial impacts for people, place, and planet.”

For more information about Visit Tucson’s sustainability initiatives and its participation in the GDS-Index, please contact Vanessa Bechtol at 

About Visit Tucson: Visit Tucson is the Destination Marketing Organization for the City of Tucson, Pima County, and the Town of Oro Valley, welcoming the world to Tucson to strengthen its vibrant community.  

About GDS-Movement: GDS-Movement is a global organisation committed to promoting sustainable tourism through its GDS-Index, a benchmarking tool that provides a comprehensive framework for measuring sustainability efforts and engaging stakeholders in promoting regenerative tourism. 

For media inquiries, please contact Mary Rittmann, VP Communications & Tourism at

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