Trends in tourism and the meetings industry over the past few years clearly indicate that travellers increasingly take issues of ecology and sustainability into account when making travel plans. Tourist destinations that demonstrate care in these areas are growing in popularity. Hotels and congress centres around the world are taking measures to reduce CO2 emissions, produce less waste and obtain independent certification.
Thanks to the efforts of the Krakow Convention Bureau (Tourism Department Municipality of Krakow), this year the city of Krakow has joined the unique GDS-Index initiative. The GDS Index ranks global destinations based on their sustainability performance in the tourism and meetings industries. The classification is made on the basis of seventy criteria, divided into four main categories:
- the city’s environmental performance (including issues such as climate, air quality, emissions, transportation, green areas),
- the city’s social activities (access to information, safety, inclusiveness),
- activities of suppliers (hotels, restaurants, airports, agencies, conference facilities, universities),
- destination management activities (strategies and policies, management, certification, studies and reports).
Inclusion in the international destination benchmarking provides an ongoing opportunity to accurately diagnose the current state and to obtain guidelines and suggestions for future improvement. So far, the programme has included cities such as Copenhagen, Glasgow, Sydney, Helsinki, Belfast, Lyon and Reykjavik, among others. The Index is drafted by the Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDSM), which brings together sustainability pioneers from the world of business and leisure tourism
We are excited to see Krakow join the GDS-Movement and impressed by the destination’s strong focus on strategy and stakeholder engagement. We are confident that being counted will bring new direction and new goals at a local level as well,” says Guy Bigwood, GDS-Movement’s Chief Changemaker.
By being part of the GDS-Index, Kraków wants to become an inspiration for other Polish cities, and it hopes for the cooperation and involvement of local authorities, suppliers, professional event organisers (PCOs and DMCs), delegates and residents. This is yet another initiative of the Krakow Convention Bureau (after the Legacy Project Bank – link), which aims to consistently strive to build the reputation of a conscious, responsible city that endeavours to introduce sustainable development standards in various areas of life, especially in the field of tourism.
We encourage you to read the official GDSM announcement regarding Kraków’s participation in the GDS-Index: www.gds.earth
Photo: R. Kowal