Belfast has been ranked in the top 10 list of sustainable destinations in the world, according to the 2022 results of the annual Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index), which sees the Northern Ireland capital climb eleven places since last year to take the eighth spot.
Belfast achieved a score of 84.01%, up 13 percentage points from last year when Belfast ranked 19th out of 73 destinations.
Visit Belfast chief executive Gerry Lennon said, "Tourism has played a pivotal role in Belfast's growth, vibrancy and economic wellbeing in recent years. By working collaboratively and creatively, Visit Belfast and our partners and stakeholders have identified a way where the sector can continue to contribute positively to the city's wellbeing, at a time when pressures from rising costs of living are impacting so profoundly on people’s lives.
Get a FREE Digital Subscription!Enjoy full access to Hospitality Ireland, our weekly email news digest, all website and app content, and every digital issue.
“Changing the Menu. For Good. is part of our long-term commitment to deliver more sustainable events and drive a regenerative tourism sector which leaves a lasting legacy and that has our people and their needs at its heart.
"It's incredibly rewarding to see that our collective efforts in this area have been recognised globally by the GDS Movement; and to be ranked alongside some of the most pioneering cities in the world for tourism sustainability is an immensely positive statement for our sector. It truly underpins our ambitions to transition to a more regenerative tourism model as we rebuild our visitor economy."
Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Tina Black said, "It's hugely important to see Belfast rank among the greenest and most sustainable destinations in the world. Global research has highlighted the need for to protect our built and natural environment and provide destination stewardship. By aligning these and the needs of our community we can lay the foundations for building a stronger, more resilient tourism sector in the coming decades.
"I'm extremely proud that our combined efforts with key businesses and organisations across the city, from the public, private and civic sectors are keeping our city on the global stage, clearly setting out our qualities as an appealing, attractive, responsible tourism destination. I think this success demonstrates what can be achieved when we work together; this is a really good news story for Belfast."
Congratulating Belfast on receiving the GDS Innovation Award, chief change-maker at GDS-Index Guy Bigwood said, "Our mission is to co-create sustainable and circular strategies, mindsets and skill sets that will enable tourism and events destinations of the future to thrive, and society and nature to regenerate.
"What is clear at these awards is the sheer enormity of creativity, commitment and compassion the sector has in wanting to make the right impact and tackle some of the challenges our societies are facing today. The Changing the Menu. For Good. initiative demonstrates that to the full, providing best practise and ideas for other destinations to adopt. Well done Belfast!"