Photo Credit: Convention Bureau Tirol

For the first time, the Meeting & Congress Destination Tirol is participating in a benchmarking process according to the Global Destination Sustainability (GDS) Index. With this, the Convention Bureau Tirol and its partners want to launch an initiative for even more sustainability and make this commitment measurable and comparable.

The GDS movement supports destinations in developing further in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These sustainability goals of the United Nations (UN) form the basis for the GDS Index, which measures the sustainability of a region on the basis of 69 indicators in four areas – environment, social affairs, destination development and service providers – and makes it comparable with others.

Together with its partners from the event sector, the Convention Bureau Tirol (CBT) has now also initiated this assessment for Tirol. Specifically, GDS will support Tirol as a convention region in the development of a sustainability strategy that measures the status quo of the services offered by convention centres, conference hotels, event agencies and other event partners. These findings show providers additional optimization opportunities in the area of sustainability.

Photo Credit: Convention Bureau Tirol

Furthermore, the awareness of the SDGs and their compliance is to be increased – this applies to the event industry in particular as well as the regions in general. This should inspire even more (and not only) congress and conference participants from the destination.

The Convention Bureau Tirol has been pushing the development of a sustainable offer for congress participants and business travellers for a long time and is pushing the development of Tirol as a congress destination into a so-called Green Meeting Destination. Many Tyrolean convention providers are already focusing on sustainable events, so-called green meetings, with the “Klimabündnis Tirol” (Tyrol Climate Alliance), among others.

These initiatives complement numerous other commitments of Tyrolean tourism in terms of sustainability. For example, the Tirol Tourist Board has created a “Sustainability Competence Centre” and, together with the province of Tyrol and other partners such as mobility companies, is promoting forward-looking projects such as “Tirol auf Schiene” (Tirol on Rail), which has been encouraging guests to travel by rail since 2012. Another example is the initiative “CLAR – Clean Alpine Region”, which supports Tyrolean tourism regions in implementing measures in the areas of climate protection, sustainability and energy and in further developing themselves as climate-friendly regions.

Photo Credit: Convention Bureau Tirol

Florian Phleps, Managing Director of Tirol Tourist Board, on this topic: “The event sector has been massively affected by the Corona pandemic. I, therefore, welcome the various measures to position Tirol as an internationally sought-after destination, even in these challenging times. Values such as health or nature have become even more important in the current situation and the focus on sustainable conferences is therefore just right. This not only conserves resources but also strengthens the well-being of participants and employees.”

Veronika Handl, Team Lead Convention Bureau Tirol adds:
“Our interpretation of the term “Green Meeting“means meeting in a green environment”, in harmony with nature, whilst conserving natural resources and as such we want to be pioneers for the whole region. A close working relationship with regional “Green Partner” companies guarantees, that events are held environmentally friendly and in accordance with high ecological standards. The experience and knowledge of the GDS-team will help us to develop as a resilient, sustainable, inclusive and socially impactful region and meeting destination.”

Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the GDS Movement, acknowledges the destination: “Tirol already has a plethora of projects, initiatives, and concepts aimed at encouraging locals and visitors alike to live, travel and work sustainably. Tirol now has an outstanding opportunity to create a new regenerative leadership paradigm for a key area in Alpine tourism, its infrastructure and way of living. This can propel the region forward to become one of the leading sustainable destinations not only in the EU but in the world.”

About the Convention Bureau Tirol

As a professional, impartial non-profit service and advisory, the Convention Bureau Tirol and its more than 60 partners such as congress centres, locations, conference hotels and agencies support the organisation of congresses, conferences, incentives and other events with ideas, information and the suitable contacts. The Convention Bureau Tirol thus forms the central marketing organisation and lobby for the Tyrol as a congress and event location.

About the Global Destination Sustainability movement

The GDS-Movement unites and enables destination management professionals to create flourishing and resilient places to visit, meet and live in. Their mission is to co-create sustainable and circular strategies, mindsets and skillsets that will enable destinations of the future to thrive, and society and nature to regenerate.