Ireland Wins Top International Award For Becoming A Sustainable Business Tourism Destination
Fáilte Ireland’s “Meet in Ireland” team has been awarded the Best Improver Award for 2019 from the Global Destination Sustainability Index, which was announced at the International Congress and Convention Association Congress in Houston, USA.
The GDS- Index is an international organisation that ranks business tourism destinations in terms of how sustainable they are for hosting meetings, incentive, conferences and events (MICE). It assesses factors such as the city environment, social indexes, supplier performance and the convention bureaus itself.
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 - Dublin, Cork, Shannon, Kerry and Galway - the award is being given at a national level to recognise the efforts of the entire country. This initiative from the Fáilte Ireland Meet In Ireland team is being commended as a great example of regional collaboration. Under the Convention Bureaux of Ireland brand, Fáilte Ireland provide both strategic and operational direction as well as significant funding via service level agreements to ensure that the Regions of Ireland reach their potential.
The Fáilte Ireland team at the Dublin Convention Bureau first joined the GDS-Index back in 2017, and was a runner up for the same award last year. In 2018, Fáilte Ireland ensured that Dublin was joined on the Index by all of Ireland’s conventions bureaus. Since then, efforts to improve Ireland’s sustainability within the business tourism sector have included:
Aligning destination strategies with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and implementing sustainability policies. Hosting workshops with both the convention bureaus and hospitality suppliers. Establishing a taskforce to prioritise the most pressing issues for sustainability and how the hospitality industry can address them.
Providing event planners with sustainable event guides.
Promoting the reduction of single use plastic in the hospitality sector, including phasing out single use toiletries in favour of bulk bottles or repurposing them through initiatives such as clean the world.
Offering Corporate Social Responsibility activities to international delegates that include environmentally proactive options such as beach cleans.
Providing bespoke sustainability information on convention bureau websites to support hosting a sustainable event in Ireland.
Kerry make the most significant improvement as a region, jumping from 37th place to 20th in just one year. Galway was the only destination to be in the top 20 from Ireland last year and moved up 5 places to 15th this year.
Paul Mockler Head of Commercial Development at Fáilte Ireland said: “We invest in the sustainable development of tourism across the country to ensure that communities nationwide can benefit from the social and economic impact tourism brings to Ireland. We are delighted to see our investment in sustainable practices across our convention bureaux in Dublin and the regions being recognised with this special merit award. We are at that start of our journey to become recognised as a world leading sustainable destination and look forward to further exciting developments in the coming months.”
Meet in Ireland is the official MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and events) brand for the island of Ireland. Owned and managed by Fáilte Ireland, it facilitates a partnership with Tourism Ireland and the Tourism Northern Ireland, to promote Ireland as a leading conference and meeting destination overseas.