Visit Tucson Joins Global Movement for Sustainable Tourism

Visit Tucson has joined the GDS-Index, a benchmarking tool run by the global GDS-Movement which is committed to promoting sustainable tourism.

Metro Tucson’s commitment to sustainability is evident in its recent initiatives, including the City of Tucson’s Climate Action Plan, its ranking as the #3 city for climate change resiliency in April 2022, and the launch of Tucson Resilient Together. 

“Tucson’s unique natural environment and rich biological diversity attract visitors from across the globe. Through our participation in the GDS-Index, Visit Tucson is committed to developing regional sustainability strategies to ensure the livelihood of Tucson as the dynamic outdoor and cultural hub of the Sonoran Desert,” said Vanessa Bechtol, VP of strategic initiatives of Visit Tucson, which is spearheading the sustainability initiative. 

The City of Tucson and Pima County already have some active sustainability projects in place. Their efforts are reflected in initiatives such as the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and Tucson Water’s One Water 2100 Master Plan. Visit Tucson’s 10-Year Metro Tucson Tourism Master Plan also includes a focus on sustainable tourism strategies. 

The GDS-Index measures and benchmark’s sustainability contributions.  Visit Tucson’s participation in the GDS-Index is a continuation of its commitment to sustainability and will provide a platform for the organization to measure and track its progress towards its sustainability goals.  

“Tucson’s participation in the GDS-Index, along with being a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network and the Delice Network, continues our global commitment to sustainability in tourism, food systems, and sales and marketing practices,” said J. Felipe Garcia, president and CEO of Visit Tucson.  “We look forward to working with our lodging and attractions partners, local nonprofits, and city and county government to enhance tourism in Tucson as a sustainable industry.” 

“This is a great next step for Tucson”, said Guy Bigwood, CEO and chief changemaker at GDS-Movement. “We’re excited to see this vibrant destination deepen its existing sustainability efforts and make inroads into new ones that together develop a positive legacy with beneficial impacts for people, place, and planet.”  

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