The GDS-Movement has recently announced that Austria’s number one tourist destination, the province of Tirol, will place sustainable and regenerative solutions at the heart of its business plan, by co-creating its new sustainability strategy with its stakeholders and participating in the Global Destination Sustainability Index.
While Tirol joins the GDS-Movement with the ambitious goal of creating its own strategy by 2021, it is no stranger to sustainability. In fact, Tirol is a key leader in Austria’s sustainable tourism initiatives with their Green Events Projects, and is part of the largest climate protection network in Europe - the Climate Alliance Tirol.
These initiatives compliment numerous other commitments of Tyrolean tourism in terms of sustainability. For example, the Tirol Tourist Board has created a "Sustainability Competence Centre" and, together with the province of Tyrol and other partners such as mobility companies, is promoting forward-looking projects such as "Tirol auf Schiene" (Tirol on Rail), which has been encouraging guests to travel by rail since 2012.
Another example is the initiative "CLAR - Clean Alpine Region", which supports Tyrolean tourism regions in implementing measures in the areas of climate protection, sustainability and energy and in further developing themselves as climate-friendly regions.
The overwhelming beauty of Austria’s third-largest province is spectacular. More than a quarter of its region is dedicated to nature reserve and there are well known mountain peaks towering 3,000 metres (9,800 feet) above sea level. This makes it a popular and sought-after skiing location in winter, whilst in summer visitors enjoy a wealth of hiking paths and stunning views of valleys and beautiful lakes.
The Tirol Convention Bureau has a pivotal role in managing and developing Tirol Werbung’s tourism offer and the action on their part to sign up to the movement and index will:
As the world realigns to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, and seeks to recover from the devastating economic and social impacts, the tourism, events and meetings industry is asking questions like: “How can we use tourism and events to transform our society?”, and “what skills and leadership do we now need to transition out of disaster into a flourishing new paradigm?”
Florian Phleps, Managing Director of Tirol Tourist Board, commented "The event sector has been massively affected by the Corona pandemic. I therefore welcome the various measures to position Tirol as an internationally sought-after destination, even in these challenging times. Values such as health or nature have become even more important in the current situation and the focus on sustainable conferences is therefore just right. This not only conserves resources, but also strengthens the well-being of participants and employees."
Veronika Handl, Team Lead Convention Bureau Tirol added “Our interpretation of the term “Green Meeting“means meeting in a green environment”, in harmony with nature, whilst conserving natural resources and as such we want to be pioneers for the whole region. A close working relationship with regional “Green Partner” companies guarantees, that events are held environmentally friendly and in accordance with high ecological standards. The experience and knowledge of the GDS-team will help us to develop as a resilient, sustainable, inclusive and socially impactful region and meeting destination. “
Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of the GDS Movement, acknowledges the destination: “Tirol already has a plethora of projects, initiatives, and concepts aimed at encouraging locals and visitors alike to live, travel and work sustainably. Tirol now has an outstanding opportunity to create a new regenerative leadership paradigm for a key area in Alpine tourism, its infrastructure and way of living. This can propel the region forward to become one of the leading sustainable destinations not only in the EU but the world.”
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