Glasgow has been named in the top 10 of the world’s most sustainable cities by the Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index.

Gothenburg in Sweden topped the rankings for a sixth year running as Scandinavian destinations once again dominated the top 10. Bergen in Norway clinched the second spot, followed by Copenhagen in Denmark. Belfast moved into the top 10 for the first time, climbing 11 places to claim eighth spot, while Glasgow came in sixth.

Belfast took home the Innovation Award for its social impact initiative Changing the Menu. For Good, which raises awareness, funds, and supplies for those experiencing growing food poverty in the city.

Visit Belfast chief executive Gerry Lennon said: “Changing the Menu. For Good. is part of our long-term commitment to deliver more sustainable events and drive a regenerative tourism sector which leaves a lasting legacy and that has our people and their needs at its heart.

It’s incredibly rewarding to see that our collective efforts in this area have been recognised globally by the GDS Movement; and to be ranked alongside some of the most pioneering cities in the world for tourism sustainability is an immensely positive statement for our sector. It truly underpins our ambitions to transition to a more regenerative tourism model as we rebuild our visitor economy.”

The top 10 cities on the GDS Index are:

  • 1. Gothenburg, Sweden
  • 2. Bergen, Norway
  • 3. Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 4. Aalborg, Denmark
  • 5. Bordeaux, France
  • 6. Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • 7. Stockholm, Sweden
  • 8. Belfast, United Kingdom
  • 9. Aarhus, Denmark
  • 10. Oslo, Norway

The 2022 GDS Index was announced alongside the GDS Awards ceremony on Wednesday 9 November at the 61st ICCA World Congress in Krakow.

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.’

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 events, 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 GDS Index 2022 destinations here.

Source: M&IT Magazine