Kerry holds business events showcase for International Event Planners: Sustainability and Social Responsibility key themes throughout the programmeSeptember 28, 2023
Kerry has retained its place in the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) Top 20 for the fifth consecutive year, firmly establishing the county as Ireland’s leading Sustainable Tourism destination, ranking 19 out of 100 international destinations.
The GDS-Index is the world’s leading sustainability performance benchmarking and improvement programme, designed to make business and leisure tourism industry more sustainable. Its mission is to engage, inspire and enable destinations to become more sustainable places to visit, meet and thrive in.
Originally established to help destinations, event planners and business events suppliers to drive and recognise sustainable practices in the business events industry, the remit and criteria now also encompasses leisure tourism. As such, Kerry Convention Bureau (KCB) collaborates closely with both the Kerry Tourism Industry Federation (KTIF) and Kerry County Council (KCC) on its annual submission.
This year, 100 destinations were benchmarked, including 42 new entrants, compared to only 63 destinations in 2022. Scoring 80.6% out of a possible 100%, Kerry’s sustainability performance was evaluated based on the county’s environmental strategy and infrastructure, social sustainability performance, industry supplier support as well as KCB and KTIF’s strategies and initiatives.
The 2023 submission referenced goals and achievements set out in the Kerry County Sustainable Tourism Strategy 2022-2025, an ambitious framework designed to provide a robust platform from which the county can accelerate performance and place sustainability at the heart of its tourism recovery and growth plans.
It included updates on projects from around the county including the Killarney Coffee Cups project, Dingle Sustainable Energy Community (SEC) Project, Munster Technological University led Circular Economy / Regenerative tourism Project and targeted initiatives around EV charging points, waste reduction, carbon offsetting and biodiversity credits. An Irish language plan created by Dingle’s Irish Language officer with Tobar Dhuibhn in relation what is happening in the county to protect, sustain and encourage the use of the language here in the Kingdom was also shared.
Kerry Convention Bureau Manager, Becky Hargrove said “In a year which has seen a significant increase of global destinations being benchmarked, and in a competitive field that is dominated by large cities, a metropolis and a megacity, we are so proud that Kerry has retained its place in this global Top 20 Index, and its position as Ireland’s leading Sustainable Tourism destination”.
“Our ranking demonstrates that the sustainability ambitions of our community of tourism suppliers, event professionals and industry partners mirror those of our valued clients and partners on a global stage”.
“We are thrilled that along with our fellow Convention Bureaux of Ireland colleagues, our mission to regenerative destination management is putting Ireland on the map as a green business events destination of choice, ranked alongside key MICE destinations across the world”.
Spearheaded by KCB and supported by Fáilte Ireland, Kerry first participated in the GDS Index in 2018, and has consistently ranked in the Top 20 since 2019.
Becky said “We would like to thank both Fáilte Ireland and Kerry County Council for their ongoing support of Kerry Convention Bureau and our annual participation in the GDS Index. Working closely with Failte Ireland and our fellow Convention Bureaux of Ireland colleagues, we are committed to being champions of Sustainability, supporting event planners to host green events and taking proactive steps to ensure that business events held in Ireland result in positive social and environmental impacts that are both sustainable and leave a legacy”.
Speaking on behalf of Fáilte Ireland, Sam Johnston, Manager Convention Bureaux of Ireland said “Yet again we celebrate Kerry’s results. Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals is a must for society. For our industry in Ireland, it is vitally important to demonstrate that our clients can deliver events that benefit our goal of the triple bottom line of the environment around us, the local communities and our economy.”
Chairman of Kerry Tourism Industry Federation, Pat O’Leary said “KTIF would like to acknowledge the fantastic achievement of Kerry maintaining its Top 20 position in the Global Destination Index for the fifth year in a row. With it’s #19 ranking, Kerry remains well ahead of other Irish counties and reflects the co-operative effort and commitment of the parties involved, KCB, KTIF, Kerry County Council and Munster Techbological University and in particular the exceptional leadership and submission management by Becky Hargrove of KCB.”
He added “As we compete with the world leaders in sustainability on this global platform, we can be confident that our unified industry approach as a region and our pride in our past and vision for our future are all helping to drive our collective initiatives forward”