ICCA partners with GDS - Global Destination Sustainability to develop sustainability training within the global association meetings industry  


The International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) is committed to sustainability in the meetings industry and is, therefore, proud to announce a new, strategic partnership with GDS - Global Destination Sustainability. This partnership serves to support ICCA members as they create and implement sustainability changes, report on impacts, and communicate stories that can catalyse action within the industry. 

By accessing the expertise of GDS, ICCA members worldwide can ensure they meet the increasing demands for sustainable events and develop innovative strategies that will help our industry drive the global sustainability movement.   

“Sustainability is simply essential for the future of our industry. As such, it is vital that the Association meetings community takes an active role in developing and implementing sustainable event strategies that are of the highest standards and fully aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals,” said ICCA CEO Senthil Gopinath.

One immediate benefit of this partnership is the possibility for ICCA members to register for the GDS Academy, which launched on 9 June 2021, and earn the GDS - ICCA Certificate in Regenerative Destination Management. The ultimate goal of the GDS-Academy is to enable positive social, environmental and economic regeneration through tourism and events based on a refreshed understanding of what it takes for a sector to thrive.

“We are very pleased to work together with GDS and other innovative organisations within the events industry to deliver this valuable benefit to ICCA members. The GDS-Academy is further proof of the transformative initiatives that our industry can achieve through collaboration,” Gopinath stated. 

Guy Bigwood, the Managing Director of the GDS-Movement had this to say  – “This day marks the realisation of our dream to provide destination marketing and management organisations with high quality, unique and specialised learning and development experiences about regenerative tourism and events. This milestone is a result of the deep commitment and great collaboration with our strategic partners at ICCA and ECM." 

The GDS-Academy offers education as open-enrollment online classes for professionals, and online/hybrid learning for organisations and destinations.