Edmonton becomes the first city in western Canada to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index

Published on : Thursday, August 19, 2021

Edmonton is the first city in western Canada to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), together with Montreal and Toronto, becoming ayardstick for responsible and regenerative tourism.

The GDS-Index rankings allow the city to see how Edmonton is performing as a sustainable tourist destination compared to other cities around the world, said Melissa Radu, the director of social and environmental sustainability at Explore Edmonton.

The data accumulated from the rankings will allow Explore Edmonton to see where the city is performing well with regard to social and environmental sustainability and how it can perform better.

Melissa Radusaid, “It’s about getting more people across the city involved. Getting people to rally together to work on some of these larger sustainability initiatives and to educate people on maybe where they can look to improve.”
Radu opined that pre-COVID-19, the city in a survey showed that 74 per cent of Edmontonians were concerned with lowering the carbon footprint and wanted the city to take necessary action.

“The GDS-Index allows us to take a holistic approach to sustainability at the destination level and assess what new partnerships, sharing opportunities, and strategies can help us to further advance this important work and attract more major business, sporting, and entertainment events to Edmonton,” Radu added.

Radu believes that measures like solar panels on the Edmonton Convention Center and carbon balancesin major events will help the city get noticed as a leading tourist destination.

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