How can we help you? Here you will find commonly asked questions and their answers. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please ask your question using the contact page.
1. What is the Global Destination Sustainability Movement?

The Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDSM) brings together the sustainability pioneers of the business and leisure tourism world, and works with destinations to co-create their tourism and events strategies, benchmark and improve their sustainability performance, and transforms value chains in order to catalyse regeneration.

2. What is the difference between the GDS-Movement and the GDS-Index?

The GDS-Index is a benchmark that serves to rank global destinations based on their sustainability performance in the tourism and events industry. The GDS-Movement is the umbrella under which all our services are grouped, including the GDS-Index.

3. How do I get involved in the GDSM?

You can join the GDS-Movement as an individual or organization and it’s completely free! Click here to fill out the form and discover more about the benefits of joining the Movement!

4. What are the benefits of joining the GDS-Movement?

These are the benefits we offer to people and organisations within our movement.

  1. Recognition on our platforms. With your permission, we may publish and promote your best practices and initiatives through our website, reports, social media and presentations
  2. Free participation in Monthly “Feeling the Pulse Sessions”, Industry Hackathons and Challenges.
  3. Free access to news, shared knowledge, best practices, and updates
  4. Networking with professionals and stakeholders from different destinations around the world.
  5. Being part of a Global Destination Movement that is transforming our Industry.
1. How do I sign up for the newsletter?

Click here to subscribe to the GDS-Movement Newsletter.

2. Do you have any job openings?

We usually post job opening on our LinkedIn profile.

3. Privacy, terms and conditions

Please find here our Privacy Policy

1. What are the benefits of joining the GDS-Index?

Key benefits of joining the leading sustainable destination benchmarking and performance improvement program include:

  1. Benchmark to drive better decision making
  2. Gain expert advice to improve strategy
  3. Catalyse collaboration and innovation within a destination
  4. Offer clients a trusted third party endorsement
  5. Promote you destination’s sustainability story
  6. Save money and time – we know what is necessary to become a regenerative destination
2. What is your methodology?

Unlike other standards and rankings, the GDS-Index was specifically created – originally – for the events and meetings industry and is the only programme of its type in the world. Since 2020 we have integrated leisure tourism into the criteria, making it relevant for all leisure and business tourism destinations.

The criteria are annually reviewed and a draft is developed by the GDS-Index team following consultation and input from participating destinations. These draft criteria undergo an in-depth revision from the GDS-Index Technical Advisory Committee, which is composed of destination sustainability experts from NGOs, DMOs and cities around the world.

Click here to read the full methodology.

3. What are the GDS-Index Awards?

Each year, when the GDS-Index results are announced, we celebrate the efforts of three destinations at the annual ICCA Congress with three awards:

  • Leadership Awards – for the top performer amongst participating destinations
  • Innovation Award – Candidates will be requested to submit an application describing why and how their destination’s sustainability initiatives stand out from the crowd.
  • Most Improved Award – For the destination that has demonstrated the highest level of overall improvement from the previous year.
4. Are there any modifications due to Covid-19 for the 2020 benchmark?

Yes. This year, due to COVID-19, the benchmarking results won’t be public. This offers a unique opportunity for new destinations to test the waters before the public 2021 benchmark.

1. How can my destination participate?

If you are interested in getting your destination to join, please send get in touch. If there are big questions that have to be cleared before you can make the decision to join, we will be happy to arrange a call with you.

2. Who can participate?

We work on the national, regional, and local level with destinations. This means that we work with national and regional tourism bureaus, and local convention bureaus. In the most general terms, we work with any destination management organisation, this includes city councils.

3. How much does it cost?

Participation fees differ, depending on how you would like to participate. Aside of the options described below, we also offer consulting packages, which can help destinations with any element of their sustainability journey, be that the creation of a sustainability strategy or policy, training workshops for your team and stakeholders, or drafting a communications strategy for sustainability.

Deliverables Benchmark
Participation in Annual GDS-Index Benchmarking and Awards
Basic Benchmarking against other Destinations
Profile page on website
Right to use GDS-Index logo on DMO website and other communication materials
Detailed benchmarking report with performance improvement recommendations and online debriefing call
Access to advanced benchmarking tools on the GDS-Index online platform
Performance consulting: Coaching calls, strategy review & development, marketing analysis, training, public speaking or reporting support 6 Hours 26 Hours
Marketing package: Destination spotlight article, Boosted social media and press exposure via IMEX, ICCA, and our media partnerships
Workshop: Development and facilitation of workshop for DMO Team, or Destination Taskforce
1. How does the benchmarking process work?

In brief, the benchmarking process works as follows:

  1. Data Collection: You identify who to contact for data and delegate, with our support.
  2. Submit Data: Using our online data and analytics portal OMNI, you upload your data alongside supporting documents.
  3. Benchmark: Our team evaluates your answers, makes sure you understood them all correctly, and then gives you your score.
  4. Results: The results usually go live during the annual ICCA conference in autumn.
  5. Assessment Report: Our team creates an in-depth analysis of your performance, and presents this to you alongside recommendations for next steps.
  6. Jump to Action: In order to make your destination more sustainable, it is now over to you to implement our recommendations. If you are unsure of how to start, you may be interested in getting more support from us.
Want more info? Contact us