Gothenburg takes GDS Index top spot for sixth time

Sustainability /  / 
Gothenburg Sweden Photo Credit: 123RF

Gothenburg has been named the world's most sustainable city for events for a sixth year running as Scandinavian destinations once again dominated the Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index. 

Bergen in Norway clinched the second spot, followed by Copenhagen in Denmark. 

The 2022 GDS Index was announced alongside the GDS Awards ceremony on 9 November at the 61st ICCA World Congress in Krakow. The GDS Movement announced the winners of its Leadership, Most Improved, and Innovation awards. 

The GDS-Index Leadership and GDS-Index Most Improved awards are given to the destinations based on the data from the GDS Index benchmarking tool.  

In keeping with the GDS Index results, Gothenburg won the Leadership Award for its 'continual commitment, vision, prompt action, and measurable impacts'.

Göteborg & Co CEO Peter Grönberg said: “Succeeding in maintaining the top position for the sixth year is an achievement that shows that the city and the hospitality industry take sustainability work seriously and challenges other cities to do the same.”

The Most Improved Award was given to Bangkok, managed by the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau. Its concerted efforts in supplier and destination management led to 'dramatic improvement.'

Visit Belfast won the Innovation Award for its project 'Changing the Menu. For Good' which raises awareness, funds, and supplies for those experiencing growing food poverty in the city.

The GDS-Movement Innovation Award is based on strict criteria that favour scalable, modifiable, and maximally impactful projects. The Innovation Award was judged by ICCA Europe regional director Tamara Bernstein, City Destinations Alliance COO  Flavie de Bueil, IMEX senior operations executive Roger Lehner, and Association Meetings International editor James Lancaster.

"GDS-Movement salutes its members’ continuous commitment to measuring and managing the sustainability contributions of their tourism and events," said GDS-Movement CEO, Guy Bigwood.

"Every step in the journey towards a destination’s social, environmental, and economic well-being counts dramatically and all GDS-Index participants are stewards of positive change.  Given the reach of  business bvents, it’s critical that this sector, specifically, further leverages the opportunity to act now, raise the bar, and invest in a thriving destination on a journey towards greater regenerative destination management, today and going forward. Working together, we all win.”

See the top-30-ranked 2022 GDS Index destinations here

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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