Looking to the future of tremendous events like the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2024, The Paris Convention Bureau (PCVB) has been working for years on measuring the impact of tourism in the city.
To encourage further enhancements and benchmark their progress, the PCVB is joining the GDS Index. The goal is to enable further development of a strategy that will lead to a thriving visitor economy.
The PCVB is an association with approximately 1 700 members, all of whom are tourism professionals based in Paris. The stakeholder base varies from the sector giants Accor, Viparis, Galeries Lafayette and Aéroport de Paris to hoteliers and smaller and independent companies.
Sustainability has become a key focus of the development strategy since the Paris climate summit in 2015. Since then, the city has considerably changed already, with the shared bike system called velib, and the creation of 1 000 km of cycle lanes. According to the figures of the association “Vélo & Territoires”, the number of cyclists at the end of the first lockdown was up sharply (+65% for the city of Paris in May 2020, compared to May 2019)
There have also been impressive citywide greening initiatives. Many hectares have been dedicated to the revegetation of walls and roofs, as well as urban agriculture, permaculture, urban farms, vegetable gardens in schools and even apiaries in local communities.
The Covid crisis has also been a trend accelerator. It has forced a rethinking of the tourism model in a sustainable way. People want authenticity when travelling and to be able to enjoy local experiences with respect for the environment.
PCVB’s CEO Corinne Menegaux has this to say:
One of the key motivations for joining the GDS-Index is the understanding that sustainability cannot be achieved in one night. Progress needs to be measured, managed and documented to shed light on where the focus should turn for future improvements hence our adhesion to the GDS-Index.
The 2024 Olympics and Paralympics will be the first carbon neutral events in the history of the games. They will also be single use plastic free due to the plan to make Paris a city free of single-use plastic.
The PCVB has launched practical programmes to support the members of the association and help to introduce sustainability into the equation of their businesses. This will be supported by a conference on sustainable tourism next July. Parisian professionals from all walks of life are currently working on seven major themes for this conference (hospitality, ecological transition, health & safety, local roots, event heritage, employment & training and mobility) in order to enable the development of tourism in Paris in a way that will enhance a broad reach of stakeholders and enhance the experience that Paris has to offer.
Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the GDS Movement, shared “We are delighted to see Paris, the world’s leading conference destination joining the GDS-Movement and stepping up its sustainable tourism and events vision and action in line with ambitious municipality and national commitments”.
PARIS and C40
Paris is an active member of the C40 association. In August 2016, Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo became C40’s first chairwoman after being voted in unanimously by the Steering Committee. Mayor Hidalgo has announced an ambitious agenda for the organisation, including plans to focus on securing green financing, supporting compliance with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, encouraging inclusive and sustainable growth in cities, and recognising the leadership of women in tackling climate change.