July 9th 2020. The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), celebrated the launch of the Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDS-Movement), a platform to promote and develop the regenerative thinking and practices that will support destinations of the future.

Accelerating Destination Transformation

The GDS-Movement is a transformation platform that engages, inspires and enables destinations to become more regenerative, flourishing and resilient places to visit, meet and live in. Currently, the GDS-Movement is collaborating with over 60 destinations and regions to catalyse regeneration, develop resilience and help cities achieve their sustainable development goals.

Transcending Sustainability

For 25 years, sustainable development has been revered as the solution to the world’s problems. However, the world is less equal and less inclusive than before. Rampant pollution, the decline and extinction of species and the impacts of extreme weather events continues to ravage communities. The global pandemic has called on the world to stop and reevaluate the systems in place and in power. The question is, are they resilient enough and do they offer a pathway to a future that is inclusive, circular and equitable? It’s no longer good enough to talk about sustaining a broken system, a focus on regenerating the social, economic and ecosystems upon which we depend is now critical.
Consequently, the GDS-Movement has expanded from the GDS-Index roots in the Meetings Industry to a more holistic focus on the nexus between the visitor economy, urban development, and a needed evolution of thinking from sustainability to regeneration.

New Strategies, Toolsets, Skill Sets and Mindsets

This switch to rethink, reimagine and redesign a better, more regenerative, inclusive and equal future poses many challenges for Destination Management Organisations, Government Tourism Ministries and Convention Bureaus. It requires a rethink of strategies, skillsets and mindsets from destination marketing at whatever cost, towards destination management and stewardship with shared value.The GDS-Movement convenes destination leaders and urban changemakers at this difficult time and supports them to drive this community-based change. The GDS Regeneration model leverages a philosophy and passion for “extreme collaboration” to unlock the collective intelligence and knowledge held within and amongst destinations. This is backed up with an advanced data platform, active partnerships, collective expertise and the heart of a movement that is powerful enough to inspire, enable and transform the entire sector.

Expanding Services, Team and Partnerships

The GDS-Index programme for benchmarking cities continues stronger than ever in 2020 and is now joined by 4 other service pillars: GDS-Forum, GDS-Academy, GDS-Consulting, and GDS-Certification.
The GDS-Movement builds on the current partnership of the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), IMEX Exhibitions, European Cities Marketing, MCI Group and GUBI consulting. To enable greater geographic expansion, reduce requirements to fly, and increase the ability to offer an integrated Global-Local solution for destination management organisations, the GDS-Movement today also launches a new network of regional and global strategic changemakers. These delivery partners include ConnectSeven for North America, Global Meetings and Tourism Specialists LLC and Evensus for Latin America, JCS and MCI for Japan, Sustained Impact for regenerative leadership development, and Meet4Impact for Social Impact consulting.

Media contact:
Noah Joubert, Head of Communications, GDSM
Mobile: +34 642 439 493
Email: noah@gds-index.com