You can download the policy infographic here.

Despite the current circumstances, our recent webinar with Visit Flanders and cities uncovered some positive perspectives as the cities shared their valuable experience and opinions on what should come next for the tourism and events sector.

Rebekka Koch from Mechelen told us

“Now we will see our potential to do things we never thought possible. Partners who were previously stuck in their ways will be more open to change and new ways of doing business.”

QianQian Ju from Antwerp and Lucie Vangerven and Saskia Verhaert from Leuven also shared experiences and ideas regarding engaging local partners to keep a long term destination sustainability strategy moving forward. Bart Rondas also gave an update on the state of sustainability policy in Gent.

This webinar marked the first in a series of support sessions aimed at helping destinations to improve their sustainability strategy, as well as improve performance in the GDS-Index.

“Writing a Sustainability Policy”, explained 8 steps that should be included in a policy, and how these steps demonstrate the commitment and framework upon which a sustainability strategy is based.

Once familiarised with the elements of a Sustainability Policy, the destinations observed some examples of best practice from different GDS destinations, as well as other policy examples from within the tourism and events sector, inspiring the destinations to follow the same.

Marjan Nauwelaert of Visit Flanders had the following feedback for us

“the session was definitely valuable – the destinations were given some concrete inputs on how to write their sustainability policies. This should enable them to strengthen the sustainability performance in their destination.”

The webinar ended with some guidance on sustainable certifications for destinations – to be consolidated in the form of a GDS-Index Guide to Sustainable Certifications that will be available to destinations in the coming months.

The GDS-Index will continue to deliver its webinar series in the coming months, empowering destinations to strengthen not only their GDS-Index benchmark results, but also their sustainable strategy framework. The topics will include:

  • Strategy creation
  • Staff engagement and capacity building
  • Sales & Marketing & Communication Strategy
  • Measurement & Reporting
  • SDG Reporting
  • Community Engagement

Should you be interested in attending one of these sessions, or hosting a private webinar for your destination colleagues, please do not hesitate to get in touch for more details.