Krakow, the second largest city in Poland, has a rich tradition of supporting academic, economic, and cultural well-being, including its historic centre listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now, championed by the Krakow Convention Bureau under the Municipality of Krakow, this future-facing destination joins the 2022 GDS-Index to a warm welcome. It is the first Polish destination to make the move, making it a pioneer in its region.
Like many destinations in Poland and beyond, it has gained key insights into the need for more effective management in an increasingly unpredictable reality.
“The COVID-19 pandemic was a sign for us to rebuild the tourism and meetings industry in accordance with the principles of sustainable development,” says Małgorzata Przygórska-Skowron, Head of Kraków Convention Bureau. Under the slogan “Build Back Better – legacy – inclusivity – sustainability – relationship – zero waste”, positive impact is supported by various initiatives, undertaken by the city:
The multi-stakeholder Zeroemisyjny Kraków (“Zero Emission Krakow”) project, which implements a new transformation strategy towards climate neutrality.
The Sustainable Tourism Policy of Krakow for 2021-2028, which earmarks tourism’s role in building harmony through participation and partnership.
The Kraków Development Strategy 2030, which addresses various social and environmental factors towards a more lifestyle-friendly city.
The Kraków NETWORK is especially focused on stakeholder engagement. It supports MICE industry players to exchange, collaborate, attract more business and academic events, and develop the Krakow meetings brand.
Krakow also focuses on its residents, aware that improving environmental, social, and economic performance has a direct and beneficial impact on their quality of life.
Its entry into the GDS-Index encompasses these and much more.
“ In order to increase Krakow’s competitiveness and its international recognition,” Małgorzata elaborates, “it is important to consistently build the city’s reputation as a conscious, responsible, and caring city that implements sustainable development standards in various areas of city life, including tourism. Participation in the GDS Movement is an opportunity for a deep diagnosis of the current state and introduction of improvement actions. Joining the initiative will place our city among other international destinations aware of the importance of sustainable development.“
The Convention Bureau is keen become an example and inspiration for other Polish cities through its participation in the GDS-Index, and is excited to further engage local government, business events suppliers, Professional Conference Organisers (PCOs), delegates and residents.
“We are excited to see Krakow join the GDS-Movement and impressed by the destination’s strong focus on strategy and stakeholder engagement. We are confident that being counted will bring new direction and new goals at a local level as well.”
says Guy Bigwood, Chief Changemaker at GDS-Movement.