Sustainability driving force as Gothenburg launches new tourism strategy
Open to the world – inclusive, green and dynamic, is the vision for Gothenburg. For two years in a row the city has been named world leader by Global Destinations Sustainability Index (GDSI). With its new tourism strategy, Gothenburg aims to step up the work even further.
Earning a reputation as a clean city by the sea surrounded by lush forests and lakes, Gothenburg has plenty of good examples of environmental initiatives, also as a great meetings and events destination. In 2016 and 2017 the Swedish city received the leadership award by GDSI for its exemplary sustainability performance and commitments.
This year, Gothenburg’s commitment takes one step further by launching a new tourism strategy that addresses overtourism, climate change, social responsibility and environmental issues, problems the tourism industry faces globally.
– Global travel is expected to grow substantially in the future, and destinations must see the drawbacks and handle them seriously. Tourism must contribute to the local society, not drain it. Locals are also our most important ambassadors, and we wish to keep their support and for them to remain a vital part of our destination, says Katarina Thorstensson Manager for sustainable tourism development at Göteborg & Co.
Instead of making a separate sustainability strategy, Gothenburg decided to make the sustainability efforts a part of its main strategies in the coming years. The recently launched business plan “Way to grow 2018 – 2020” sets a new standard where all three dimensions of sustainability – economic, social and ecological – are implemented in all strategies.
The plan is developed in close collaboration with the stakeholders. More than 100 people representing the trade and industry, the academy and the city have participated in the process.
– The city of Gothenburg has set an ambitious goal to double tourism by 2030. A growth like this must be sustainable and we as a destination organisation has a great responsibility to see to that the events and meetings we host, the hotels or attractions we offer, all are managed in a way that don’t jeopardize city life itself, says Katarina Thorstensson.