For the third year running, the winners of the GDS-Index awards were announced during the Closing Ceremony of the 57th ICCA Congress. Our prestigious awards showcase the remarkable sustainability initiatives of convention bureaus and destination marketing organisations from across the globe, with the aim of sharing best practices to inspire the meeting and events industry.

The Global Destination Sustainability Index gives out three awards each year to those destinations that go above and beyond to ensure that their practices incorporate a strong sustainability element. The winners of the GDS-Index awards in 2018 are:

Innovation Award: Copenhagen

The judging panel, made up of industry experts, have voted for Copenhagen this year to win the Innovation Award. Wonderful Copenhagen released a bold long-term strategy: “Tourism for good”. The ambition of this strategy is to “make tourism part of the solutions for a sustainable future, not a part of the problem. Tourism is not a goal in itself, it is a means to a sustainable end”. The plan looks at how the destination and their stakeholders can contribute to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and sets targets and actions for the next three years.

The jury was also impressed by the runner-up projects presented by Helsinki and Sydney.

Leadership Award: Gothenburg

For the third year, Gothenburg Convention Bureau is still leading the way, setting the pace as well as sharing best practice in the industry. Goteborg & Co are pioneers and have inspired the Index with their unique integration of sustainability into their business practices.

Most Improved Destination Award: Goyang

Goyang Convention Bureau, who joined the GDS-Index in 2017, has significantly improved their performance and made tremendous efforts in advancing their sustainability initiatives. Goyang improved their overall performance by 17% and their CVB performance by an impressive 40%, mainly by formalising a sustainability strategy for the destination, putting in place tools to measure performance, and building capacity through industry trainings.

Dublin’s performance must also to be mentioned: they were a very close runner-up with a 16% overall performance increase and 36% increase in CVB performance.

Stay tuned as you’ll hear more about inspiring sustainability initiatives!