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Photo Credit: City Destinations Alliance

74 Tourist Information Centres’ professionals representing 45 leading European cities in 23 countries attended the 9th CityDNA TIC Expert Meeting on November 24-25, 2022 in Gothenburg, to exchange knowledge and best practices on the Social, Environmental and Economic Sustainability agenda.

THE MOST SUSTAINABLE CITY IN THE WORLD

This year’s event took place in the city of Gothenburg in Sweden which has been named the most sustainable destination in the world by the GDS Index for the 6th year in a row.

The event was held at the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothia Towers which are signatories of the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative.

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Photo Credit: Visit Sweden

TIC HOSTMANSHIP AWARD 2022

Lidia Fedchuk and Anna Vilchynska from Lviv Tourism Office were the proud recipients of the CityDNA TIC Hostmanship Award. The war stopped tourism and Ukrainian TIC professionals have helped the international media and other Ukrainians during the most horrendous of times. Lidia and Anna received the CityDNA TIC Hostmanship Award 2022 on behalf of all the Ukrainian TIC professionals for their outstanding work in 2022.

“The award goes to tourism professionals who have done something exceptional for their city. In this case, it goes far beyond what is normal. The tourism professionals in Ukraine have shown huge bravery, but also other human values ​​such as generosity and resilience and have become an example for all of us of the highest standards of public service,” concluded Pablo Ortega Novillo.

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Photo Credit: City Destinations Alliance

SUSTAINABILITY FROM THE TIC POINT OF VIEW

The impact of COVID-19, the war, and the climate crisis have and continue to fundamentally alter the behaviours of citizens, consumers, and travellers. Although these events have undermined the overall sense of control, the collective response to these huge challenges has taught great lessons about the power of cohesion and focus.

The Climate Crisis, the greatest challenge, is so vast that one can feel powerless in addressing it. That said, it can and must be addressed by everyone through individual and collective behaviours. “As Tourist Information Services, we are the voice of the consumer, the advisor of visitors and guardians of our cities. By applying ‘sustainability’ best practices across all our activities and stakeholder i.e. staff, visitors, management, and industry, we can leverage our unique role opposite visitors and industry for the long-term betterment of our destinations,” said Pablo Ortega Novillo, CityDNA Tourist Information Centres Knowledge Group Chair

The 9th TIC Expert Meeting defined the sustainability challenge and, through workshops, developed a series of practical TIC interventions to address the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability.

The first Workshop on Factors of Sustainability for TICs was organised and moderated by Tourism Consultant, Gabriela Schweinberger. The participants discussed 4 different topics part of the 17 UNWTO SDGs:

– Healthy work environment & Education & Continuous training
– Economic growth
– Responsible consumption and production
– Strong partnerships for the goals
– The format of the workshop allowed for the collection of ideas and suggestions that were shared with all participants.

The second Workshop was organised and moderated by Karoline Wiegerink and Jan Huizing from Hotelschool The Hague. The workshop on the engagement of the local population in TIC allowed participants to share their welcoming experiences, how their TICs create value and what they will do in the future!

Attendees also heard case studies from European TIC colleagues and external companies (Visit Antwerp, Kiruna Lapland, Fáilte Ireland, Generalitat de Catalunya, Cartonlab and ETFI-Stenden University).

Find out more about the City Destinations Alliance here.