The GDS-Index is a destination-level programme that measures, benchmarks, and improves the sustainability strategy and performance of tourism and events destinations.

The GDS-Index is aligned with international standards; UN SDGs, GSTC Destination Criteria, UNWTO.

Click here to read more about the benchmarking methodology including data collection and verification, the four benchmarking categories, governance and criteria development and performance scoring methods.

This page highlights each destinations sustainability journey and will showcase their journey.

Performance Overview

The 2023 GDS-Index comprises 69 indicators across four categories. Here is the total score and the score for the four categories for this destination.






Destination Management Organisation


Includes a city's performance pertaining to its policies and infrastructure, such as climate change commitment, carbon emissions, renewable energies, resource and water management, public transport, and air pollution levels.


Indicates the performance of the city against indicators of SDG integration, Corruption, Personal Safety, Access to Information and Communications, Health and Wellness, and Inclusivity, using external sources such as the Social Progress Imperative Index, and Corruption Perceptions Index.


Addresses the sustainability commitment and performance of the local meetings' industry supply chain, including airports, events agencies, hotels, venues, and restaurants.

Destination Management Organisation

Indicates the sustainability commitment, including questions pertaining to maturity of a destination's sustainability and regeneration strategy, leadership, communication of sustainability initiatives (to support client planners), and the accuracy of their reporting on sustainability operations.

Sustainability Journey


Bergen is situated between the fjords in the western part of Norway and is the second-largest city in Norway. The World Heritage site Bryggen and the Fløibanen funicular, some of the most visited attractions in Norway, are just a few of Bergen's many attractions. Bergen is the only major city in Norway that have been awarded Innovation Norway's label for Sustainable Destinations, a national labeling scheme for destinations dedicated to sustainable development. The labeling scheme builds upon a standard recognized by The Global Sustainable Tourism Council. Visit Bergen's ambition is to create a sustainable and profitable destination, for both our visitors and inhabitants. And our aim is to make Bergen a better place to live and a better place to visit.

Does Visit Bergen / Bergen Convention Bureau have a Sustainability Strategy?

Does Bergen have a sustainable destination certificate?

Does Visit Bergen / Bergen Convention Bureau report on its sustainability performance?

Bergen's ambition is to be fossil-free by 2030. This means that no fossil fuels are to be used for transport, city services or heating. By 2030 Bergen shall reduce the direct greenhouse gas emissions in the city by 30% compared to 1991, and the overall emissions within the city by at least 85% compared to 2009. The Bergen region is a world leader in green transportation. More than 37% of all privately owned cars in Bergen are fully electric, one of the largest shares of electric cars per capita in the world. The destination also host a wide variety of electric taxi's, rentals and tour buses. Less emissions from the transportation sector due to electrification the last decade have improved the air quality in Bergen significantly, and Bergen was ranked among the top 5 city's in Europe with the best air quality in 2021. The scenic Bergen railway provides a green mode of transport from Bergen to Norway's capital Oslo, and skiing destinations such as Voss and Geilo. The popular round trip Norway in a nutshell, which pioneers the use of public transport for sightseeing in the fjords, also makes use of the Bergen railway. Western Norway is furthermore a world leader in green transportation at sea. The regions many electric ferries and fjord cruises, means that the largest share of electric vessels in the world can be found around Bergen. Bergen is one of the most visited cruise ports in Northern Europe and substantial efforts have been made in recent years to reduce emissions from the cruise industry. The Port of Bergen was the forerunner in developing the Environmental Port Index, which stimulated cruise operators to reduce their emissions. Bergen also host the Europe's largest facility for on shore power, which can provide renewable energy to three docking cruise ships at once, allowing docking ships to turn of their engines while in port. A large number of shore ex excursions are being done using electric buses. Bergen is the turning point for Kystruten, a popular cruise along the Norwegian coast to the northern town of Kirkenes. The operators Havila have recently started sailing with environmental friendly ships, running on a combination of battery and LNG. With more than 95% of the electricity in Norway coming from renewable sources, electrifying our transportation system is one of the many ways forward for our city and region. Being surrounded by seven mountains makes Bergen a strikingly attractive, intimate and walkable destination. The Bergen light rail and fossil free buses (bio fuel or electric) makes up the core of the Bergen's public transportation system. City development is favoring walking and cycling, and the world's longest purpose-built bicycle tunnel opened in Bergen in 2023, connecting on of the suburbs to the city center.





13915 ha

AREA PER 100 000

Bergen is regarded as an international congress city that hosts several major conferences and events every year. The city has 45 hotels with 15,000 beds and every type of conference facility that one could wish for. Bergen has four Conference and Convention Centers, all of them Eco-labeled. A compact city center ensures that most attractions in the city are within walking distance. The added attraction for the city is the nature based activities and excursions that the Fjord area can offer. Local transportation in the region can be done without any direct emissions. Visit Bergen, in partnership with local NGOs and universities, is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive legacy program for meeting and event organizers. We provide free consulting and advise for organizers that want to make a positive impact and legacy in Bergen. Visit Bergen have developed guides for sustainable meetings and events, that are free to use for all how want to organize a meeting or event in Bergen.







With a good universal healthcare system, low unemployment, equal access to education, tuition-free higher education and low crime rates, Bergen and Norway is on the top ten list for being corruption-free. Women have equal rights as men and are also well-represented in leading positions throughout the country. Norway enjoys a model of representative democracy and were ranked as the worlds most democratic country on The Economist's Democracy Index 2022. Freedom of expression is a constitutional right and Norway was ranked first on the World Press Freedom Index in 2023. Bergen's walkways, public transportation, hotels and more are well adapted to support accessibility for people with disabilities. Visit Bergen is collaborating with the local community on important tourism topics and meet regularly with resident associations to discuss visitor management and destination development. Every second/three years we monitor how residents are effected by tourism in our resident surveys.




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