LONG THINKER PANEL
By Guy Bigwood, Managing Director of Global Destination Sustainability Index and GuBi Consulting
As the first tiny and optimistic shoots of a tourism reboot start to emerge this week, the words of the grandfather of capitalism – Milton Friedman pop into my head.
“Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are lying around. That, I believe, is our basic function: to develop alternatives to existing policies, to keep them alive and available until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.”
DMOs have a unique moment to step up – to not only develop industry support and destination marketing actions but to fully focus on destination stewardship. To engage and lead a much wider group of stakeholders in a strategic process to stop to rethink and redesign the future. To not rush back to the familiar, and to repair the old and broken, but to reflect and reimagine the new. To rebuild a regenerative and resilient tourism and events economy that creates value for everyone. An industry that attracts investment, generates jobs, develops talent and spreads prosperity inclusively and fairly. A resilient, vibrant, and flourishing industry, that grows in harmony with, and not against, nature and its boundaries. An industry that regenerates cities, people, and the nature around us.
A resilient, vibrant, and flourishing industry, that grows in harmony with, and not against, nature and its boundaries.
In the past, many said that creating a sustainable and regenerative tourism industry was “politically impossible”. Now is the time to seize a unique opportunity to make it “politically inevitable”.
The Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index) is a destination level programme that measures, benchmarks and improves the sustainability strategy and performance of meetings, events and business tourism destinations.