BESydney’s associate director for Europe, Sebastian Gonzalez, collected the GDS-Movement and #MEET4IMPACT Impact Award on behalf of the organisation at a ceremony in Valencia, Spain overnight.
BESydney’s CEO, Lyn Lewis-Smith said the team was grateful for the recognition.
“We committed more than a decade ago to identifying and measuring the ‘Beyond Tourism Benefits’ of business events for local and global communities.
“Now we are collaborating with those communities to reduce our environmental footprint, and to co-create and measure long-term social impact as well as economic outcomes from the business events we attract to our city.
“Thank you to our impact partners City of Sydney and Sustainable Destination Partnership and also Carmel Foley and Deborah Edwards at the University of Technology Sydney Business School for the seminal Beyond Tourism Benefits and the work that began the measurement of our impact journey more than a decade ago,” she said.
“I’d like to acknowledge our clients for working with us to develop the framework. And also to our industry partners who inspire us every day in their determination to make a difference.”
Lewis-Smith singled out ICC Sydney Arinex, Accor and the Sydney Opera House among the bureau’s partners.
CEO of GDS Movement, Guy Bigwood encouraged others to follow in the steps of BESydney and Destination DC, Washington DC’s bureau, which won the other award – for innovation – on offer overnight.
“GDS Movement salutes the 2023 award winners for their profound achievements that inspire and inform,” he said.
“Sustainability is a systemic solution where everybody wins, and winning practices can be analysed, borrowed, adapted, and scaled for exponential positive impact.
“We encourage all destinations to take their cue from these leaders and work together with us to transform tourism and events into a tool for regeneration in every destination on earth.”
BESydney beat VISITFLANDERS, Glasgow Convention Bureau, Göteborg & Co and a combined effort from Fáilte Ireland and Meet in Ireland, to take home the impact award.
GDS-Movement also released its annual index of sustainable cities overnight, with three Australian cities in the top 40. Sydney had its highest ever score, coming in at 29, while Melbourne was slightly higher at 27 and Brisbane also made the cut, ranked 37.