Last night in Valencia, Liverpool won international recognition for flying up the league table of sustainable destinations as the most improved city in the world.
Liverpool received specific recognition as the 'Most Improved Destination Award', making more progress than any of the other 100 cities now annually participating in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-I).
Our home city gained this honour in the prestigious company of overall GDSI 2023 Leadership Award winner Gothenburg (Sweden), Innovation Award winner Washington DC (USA), and Impact Award winner, Sydney (Australia).
The GDS-I is a measurement and management tool for destinations keen to contribute to the social, environmental, and economic well-being of people, place, and planet through tourism and events using 69 indicators and aligns directly with the Sustainable Development Goals.
These prestigious awards, presented during the GDS-Awards ceremony in partnership with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), were revealed during the 2023 GDS-Forum hosted in Valencia, Spain.
The award was deservedly collected by Jennifer Jensen, Head of Business Tourism of Liverpool's Convention Bureau at this year's cosmopolitan event (above in photo, centre).
Susan Finnegan, Acting Head of Visitor Economy for Marketing Liverpool was proud to share, “We are so pleased that Liverpool has been recognised as the Most Improved Destination at the GDS Awards for our GDS-Index score. The work undertaken by Jennifer Jensen for Liverpool Convention Bureau in collaboration with our partners and key stakeholders to improve Liverpool’s score over the last few years shows how dedicated we are to sustainable tourism across the region. This is a huge confidence boost for the city’s visitor economy and the start of our journey for making positive change and putting Liverpool on the map as a leading destination for sustainable tourism and events.”
Jenny has led the project, showing huge determination to drive the sustainability agenda across one of Liverpool City Region's priority economic sectors to create opportunities, boosting resilience at a regional level and aiming to position Liverpool City Region as the destination of choice for sustainable business events and conferences.
2030hub were the key delivery partner and worked alongside Jenny and the team at Marketing Liverpool for the last year helping to strategically guide, deliver multiple learning and engagement events and support the creation of the Liverpool Visitor Economy Taskforce as a key mechanism to engage with such a diverse sector. 2030hub's very own sustainable tourism rising superstar Simone Greyling supported Jenny directly as the core team that united local stakeholders behind this now flourishing local movement.
An elated Jenny Jensen said 'This award is down to the great collaboration from so many stakeholders across the city region who have a shared passion to push the change forward that our world is demanding. Yes, we need strong leadership and strategic plans to tackle climate and social emergencies, but it is the day-by-day inches, those small gains multiplied by countless small and medium businesses and individuals, that have created the momentum that won Liverpool this recognition. This is for our wonderfully supportive Liverpool Visitor Economy Sustainability Taskforce and every single colleague and business making a difference back home!'
David Connor, Director of 2030hub stated 'This result has, in reality, taken years. Jenny Jensen's personal leadership through Marketing Liverpool has been crucial in achieving this hugely significant improvement. The energy we saw at the recent Global Goals Week: Liverpool event for sustainability in the visitor economy was phenomenal, and, an indicator of appetite across grassroots stakeholders to make their businesses and communities more sustainable. Liverpool was the first UK city, and one of the earliest of all adopters of GDSI back in 2020 and this year's progress has been incredible to see.'
Guy Bigwood, CEO and Chief Changemaker of GDS-Movement, stated, “GDS-Movement salutes the 2023 GDS-Awards’ winners for their profound achievements that inspire and inform. Sustainability is a systemic solution where everybody wins, and winning practices can be analysed, borrowed, adapted, and scaled for exponential positive impact. We encourage all destinations to take their cue from these leaders and work together with us to transform tourism and events into a tool for regeneration in every destination on earth.”
For more information about the GDS-I awards please visit www.gds.earth/awards