The wait and hard work everyone has put into this year's benchmarking has now born fruit: We are delighted to announce that the 2019 ranking has gone live. You can view this year's top 20 destinations by visiting the Top Destinations page.
Aside of great leaps in performance for many destinations, the release of this year's results has brought with it a number of other occurrences worth mentioning:
1. For the first time in the history of the GDS-Index, the Most Improved Destination Award has been received by an entire region. Congratulations goes to Meet in Ireland, and the four destinations it represents (Dublin, Kerry, Limerick, and Cork).
2. Redesigned Destination Report Pages: If the city you are looking for is not amongst the Top 20, you can view destination highlights by visiting the results page and searching for a specific city. This will bring you a totally re-designed page with a sleeker look and added features. Want to compare how your destination performed in relation to the overall winner or your nearest competing destination? This is now all possible from your destination's reports page.
3. Does the Past Look Different?: As some might have noticed, the scores of past years do not look the same. To be precise, they have been adjusted to 88% of their initial score. This was done for the sake of comparability. As the GDS-Index is a performance improvement programme, it is crucial that we are able to see how destinations are developing over the course of different benchmarks. The large increase of new criteria in this year's questionnaire has lead us to ask how we could maintain a sense of continuity of this development. Following long discussions internally and with the technical advisory team to find a solution, we have decided that reducing the scores of past years would be the best way of ensuring comparability between years.
Of course we also have to celebrate the GDS-Index Award winners. For the fourth year in a row Gothenburg has defended its position as #1. But, Copenhagen is drawing nearer, having moved from 3.2 in 2018 to a 1.6 score difference. Gothenburg will have to continue working hard to defend its title in 2020!
When it comes to Innovation the choice was a tough one this year. The three finalists, Ljubljana, Sydney, and Copenhagen, all had inspiring and impactful initiatives to share. Ljubljana Tourism had submitted its Green Supply Chains initiative, a project that connects local food producers and buyers to strengthen their local economy and encourage restaurants, hotels and caterers to use more local, healthy, and sustainable ingredients. Wonderful Copenhagen submitted its comprehensive stakeholder engagement programme, 10xCopenhagen, which engaged stakeholders from around the city in the most holistic fashion seen by us so far, in order to create clear goals and their 'Tourism for Good' strategy. However, it was Sydney that received the medal this year, for its outstanding “Sustainable Destination Partnership”; a multi-stakeholder collaboration that has resulted in the environmental footprinting of the Sydney hospitality sector, and then the co-creation of a strategy to achieve a 70% reduction in carbon emissions and divert 90% of its waste by 2030.
Well done to all 58 destinations that are part of our network. May you continue to step up and scale up actions for sustainability. Becoming a more regenerative destination to visit, meet, and thrive in, as these destinations are, is not only a commendable but a necessary step in this age of rapid change.