The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) and EarthCheck recently signed an alliance to develop and launch specialised certification and services for business tourism, event and meeting cities. The key goal of the alliance is to help cities, regions and countries to improve the environmental, social and economic performance of their visitor economy, and become more sustainable and healthy places to visit, meet in and live in.
The partners will launch GDS-Certify, a third party sustainability certification for business tourism, events and meeting cities that will be delivered by EarthCheck science and software systems, and underpinned by the GSTC (Global Sustainable Tourism Council) Destination Criteria. GDS-Certify is applicable for urban destinations that are starting their sustainability journey, and for those who, as market leaders, want to push the boundaries of sustainability performance.
Guy Bigwood, Co-founder and Managing Director for the GDS-Index, commented; “Increasingly Destination Management and Marketing Organisations (DMOs) are championing sustainability and the use of eco-certification within their communities of event organisers, hotels, venues and restaurants. However only 16% of the GDS-Index DMOs have a destination certification. Our goal is to simplify and accelerate the journey from benchmarking to certification for destination management organisations,
and then use certification to drive sustainability performance.”