Kerry: Ireland’s Leading Sustainable Tourism Destination


on Global Destination Sustainability Index

GDS Movement

The GDS Movement is a collaborative business initiative created to help Destinations, Convention Bureaux, Event Planners and Suppliers drive the adoption and recognition of sustainable practices in their regions and in the global events industry. It aims to bring destinations together to benchmark and improve the social and environmental performance of their respective industries by highlighting best practice and promoting responsible business and leisure tourism.

Kerry made its first entry on to the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) in 2018 and in 2019, was delighted to be ranked #20. In just one year, Kerry moved up 17 places on the Index and took out the #1 position on the Most Improved Destination leader board.

In 2021 and 2022 Kerry ranked #13, but in 2023, with the additional increase of 42 new destinations bringing it up to 100 destinations participating, Kerry moved to #19. In maintaining it’s position as the only Irish destination to feature in the Top 20, Kerry continues to be recognised as Ireland’s leading Sustainable Tourism destination, as per the Index.

Fáilte Ireland’s Meet in Ireland Convention Bureaux partnership of Dublin, Shannon, Galway, Cork and Kerry was also recognised with the 2019 inaugural GDS-Index Improver Award being presented to Ireland. In the past, the award has only been given to individual cities, but in recognition of the overall improvement from all of Ireland’s Regional Convention Bureaux, the award was given at a national level to recognise the efforts of the entire country with Meet In Ireland commended as a great example of regional collaboration.

Kerry is extremely proud to be Ireland’s leading Sustainable Tourism destination and to be ranked alongside key global MICE destinations in the Top 40 including Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Glasgow, Stockholm, Belfast, Reykjavik, Melbourne, Cork, Helsinki, and Lyon.

Working in collaboration with our partners at Kerry Tourism Industry Federation, our participation in this global benchmarking tool enables us to drive progress in the sustainable development of Kerry by engaging industry stakeholders, local community, and government. As part of the GDS-Movement, we are part of a network of destinations striving for long-lasting regeneration of our sector and in doing so, continue to grow together, share best practice, and celebrate success.

To be considered for inclusion, destinations from around the world complete a comprehensive annual submission process and are assessed on factors such as the environment, social indexes, supplier performance and the convention bureau and destination marketing organisations themselves. The index is then used by event planners and visitors as a resource when searching for sustainable destinations in which to meet or visit.

Green Tourism

Green Tourism works to promote a greener, cleaner environment, for people, places and our planet. It recognises and support eco-friendly achievements of tourism businesses through its internationally respected accreditation programme of Bronze, Silver and Gold awards.

Green Tourism rewards responsible businesses

Green Tourism and Green Meetings certification recognises the commitment of tourism businesses who are taking environmental considerations seriously and actively working to become more sustainable by making practical changes to tackle issues such as energy efficiency, water saving and mindful waste reduction.

The awards represent recognised third-party verification and as such are a valuable hallmark of green achievement.

Their Bronze/Silver/Gold awards are acknowledged worldwide as an indicator of good environmentally-friendly practice, and demonstrate an important step in getting started on the green journey.

Kerry Convention Bureau has been recognised for its achievements to SILVER level for Green Meetings certification.

Key criteria measured through its accreditation process include:

  • Reducing energy use
  • Saving water
  • Efficient & eco-friendly waste disposal
  • Supporting active travel
  • Ensuring meetings / events impact positively on a destination
  • Ethical buying
  • Staying local & seasonal
  • Minimising food miles
  • Promoting biodiversity
  • Adopting a smart, sustainable outlook from top to bottom