The GDS-Movement evolved from the Global Destination Sustainability Index; the world’s leading sustainability benchmarking and performance improvement program for destinations, and their visitor economy.

The GDS-Index was inspired by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) Scandinavian chapter and MCI, where 15 pioneering cities created the Scandinavian Destination Sustainability Index. It has since evolved into a collaborative partnership between ICCA, IMEX Exhibitions, European Cities Marketing, MCI Group and GUBI consulting.

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. Our mission is to co-create sustainable and circular strategies, mindsets and skill sets that will enable destinations of the future to thrive, and society and nature to regenerate.


Global Destination Sustainability Index


As part of the GDS-Movement the vision of the GDS-Index is to engage, inspire and enable destinations to become more regenerative and sustainable places to visit, meet and thrive in.

The GDS-Index is now the leading sustainability benchmarking and improvement programme for destinations around the world. It is used to assess current social and environmental performance of a destination, and then to drive enhanced performance. While also being a powerful tool for clients to assess the sustainability of destinations to visit or meet in.


Cork’s GDS-Index Rank

In 2021, Cork was first ranked in the Top 20 World’s Most Sustainable Destinations by the GDS-Index.

Cork initially entered the GDS-Index in 2018 with an aim to be recognised as a leading destination in social, environmental and economic sustainability for both business and leisure tourism.

Since then Visit Cork has continually worked with its many industry partners in improving Cork’s standing within the index, from an initial score of 42.3% in 2018 to a high of 71% in 2021. This places Cork in an impressive 18th place among a total of 73 other destinations and it is hoped to further improve this good standing within the index going forward.

To learn more about the GDS-Index and the 2021 Rankings click below:

Meet In Ireland Website
Failte Ireland Website
Cork City Council
Cork Chamber of Commerce
Cork County Council
Cork Airport
Irish Hotels Federation