by Sarah JF Braley | June 07, 2019
New research from the Global Destination Sustainability Index aims to help destination marketing organizations around the world take bigger roles in their regions' sustainability efforts. The GDS-Index measures, benchmarks and improves the sustainability strategy and performance of meetings, events and business-tourism destinations.
The report's executive summary identifies four building blocks to help DMOs take on leadership roles in their cities:
 
1. Take the lead. Being just a promoter is not an option anymore, so DMOs must become destination stewards, by facilitating conversations, shifting culture and nurturing more authentic connections among their constituent communities.
 
2. Develop a master plan. Destinations need to have a deep understanding of the scale and impact caused by the global megaforces in their regions -- such as climate breakdown, ecocide, demographic shifts and social change -- and develop a long-term sustainability strategy that both aligns with the municipal vision while also leveraging the events and tourism industry to catalyse, accelerate and support positive change.
 
3. Integrate the plan into a core strategy. Sustainability can no longer be viewed as a vehicle for promotion. It needs to be integrated as both a core pillar of the DMO's business strategy and as a fundamental aspect of management across the organization -- from talent recruitment to development, sales to marketing, event management to finance.
 
4. Become a master of collaboration. Sustainability is complex and requires systemic change and innovation. DMOs need to become highly skilled at bringing their communities together to rethink, reimagine and regenerate their cities and the meetings and events industry. Destinations will become even more competitive by reimagining the role of their visitors from passive tourists or event visitors to active, "temporary locals."
 
Read more by downloading the white paper here.