Methodology

Key areas - What do we assess?

The GDS-Index uses 70 indicators that evaluate the destinations across four key areas:


Environmental Assessment

Environmental Assessment
Social Assessment

Social Assessment
Supplier Assessment

Supplier Assessment
CVB Assessment

CVB Assessment
Verification & Scoring

Verification and Scoring

After signing up as a member of the GDS-Index, the municipality, destination convention bureau or destination management organisation, completes an online questionnaire, gathering data from stakeholders and providing key performance indicators and supporting data.

The destinations are required to submit proof or evidence with each question, disclosing the source of their information. The quantitative data submitted by the destinations is usually from official sources, such as the city’s sustainability department.

Consultants from the GDS-Index evaluate the submission, looking for inconsistencies and errors in the data. Each performance indicator is assigned a number of points and according to how well the destination fulfills each indicator, it gets some of these points, no points or all points (a full score). Indicators scores are then aggregated and weighted into an individual category score. The final destinations ranking is a sum of the four individual category scores.

Criteria Review and Revision

The GDS-Index is reviewed annually and has a major update every two years. We engage with our destinations and with the team, and get feedback on the existing criteria. We review standards from the tourism industry, and other Index and ranking systems from other industries.

We then update the standard, and present to the Technical Advisory Committee - who are a team of destination sustainability experts. With their input we review the process thoroughly before presenting a final draft to our member destinations. We then incorporate any feedback and present the results to our advisory board - for their final approval. The 2019 Criteria was released on June 5th 2019.

For more detailed information about our methodology and criteria click here

Criteria Review and Revision

“Our work with the GDS-Index has helped us to identify areas of excellence in our city and industry, while also identifying opportunities for improvement. The GDS-index team has provided us with practical ideas and an action list on how as a city and industry we can continue to progress with further sustainability initiatives.”

Lyn Lewis-Smith, CEO of Business Events Sydney