Today, we at the GDS-Index are absolutely delighted to have completed our most polished and comprehensive white paper to-date. After all these months of hard work and dedication we would like to share with you some of the unique insights we have gained on the current and future trends of sustainability in 47 destinations worldwide.

In particular, the report is concerned with the strategies and tactical actions taken by Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) on their journey of becoming more sustainable. These strategies and actions are showcased to inspire and enable action around the world, and if you are part of, or know people that work in this industry we invite you to read the document and share it with your networks. It will be free to access by anyone via our website.

To not spoil the joys of exploring the depths of the document itself, this post will serve to give a brief overview and mention a couple of key themes. At its core, the report highlights five mega trends that have shaped the past year, and which will continue to impact the tourism and events industry. As these trends, from climate change to digitalization, present destinations with great risks and opportunities, we have to identify the most appropriate course of action to approach them. We hope to support DMOs in this endeavour, by suggesting four key building blocks for successfully taking on the role as positive changemakers. For us, there is no doubt that we will have to take the lead by becoming masters of collaboration, and embedding sustainability at the very core of our strategy.

Recent actions by citizens from around the world are increasingly pressing corporations and governments to stop following the ‘business-as-usual’ mindset. This mindset is characterised by short-sighted thinking, which, through its simplicity, is toxic to the complex dynamics governing the environmental and social dimensions of life. We require a paradigm shift, one that adopts more systemic thinking for the betterment of the world.

At the same time, this call for a paradigm shift, while necessary, can be criticised for being too vague to have any measurable impact. For this reason, we have included eight tactics for change that outline specific actions DMOs can take to become more regenerative, and less harmful, to society and the environment.

Be it to report impacts and actions through an annual report (which the Gothenburg Convention Bureau has been publishing since 2017), or to promote the food revolution (as the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau has done by tackling food waste and creating savings of over 530.000 €), the actions we take now can have a lasting impact for generations to come.

Each of the eight tactics for change are showcased in greater detail in the white paper, and we at the GDS-Index hope that they may inspire more regenerative actions from DMOs around the world. If you are interested in reading more, you can download the full paper here.