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Explore Edmonton for European cities to help improve sustainability score


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Edmonton achieved an overall score of 51 percent, ranking 60th out of 73 cities on its first Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-I)

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Edmonton is looking to cities like Lyon, France to build up its Global Destination Sustainability Score.

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Edmonton achieved an overall score of 51 percent, ranking 60th out of 73 cities on its first Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-I), but a local tourism official said he expected to see that margin. growth.

The GDS-I classifies destinations according to its responsible and regenerative tourism practices. The majority of participating cities are European, with Montreal, Quebec and Edmonton being the only Canadian representatives on this year’s list.

“Typically we see a lot of European cities that tend to be the ones leading the way in sustainable destination management,” Melissa Radu, director of environmental sustainability at Explore Edmonton told Postmedia in an interview on Friday.

“So when we look at our performances, it’s really exciting to see what we can learn from those who are doing really well. Lyon, France, has seen a 42 percent increase in just one year in some of the efforts they have been able to undertake.

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Radu said Lyon was the most improved city on this year’s GDS-I and said the goal is for Edmonton to win this honor in 2022.

This photo taken on December 6, 2013 shows buildings illuminated in Lyon, in central-eastern France, during the 15th edition of the “Fête des Lumières”.
This photo taken on December 6, 2013 shows buildings illuminated in Lyon, in central-eastern France, during the 15th edition of the “Fête des Lumières”. Photo of PHILIPPE DESMAZES /AFP / Getty Images

She said Edmonton’s lowest score was 33 percent in supplier performance. Radu mentioned that more restaurants participating in sustainable sourcing practices is an example of where they could improve.

“These are the sustainable offers for our tourism partners, like hotels, airports, restaurants and also academic institutions,” Radu said. “I don’t mean to say that we don’t have organizations that do a great job in this area, we certainly do, but what we want to work on is formalizing these types of initiatives so that they can be used throughout the city. “

Radu said 55 percent of Edmonton hotel rooms are certified for sustainability, however, cities like Stockholm, Sweden, with a relative population, see 87 percent of their accommodation rooms certified.

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Edmonton’s best result was in social performance, with a score of 72.5 out of 100. In that category, Radu said the city scored 91 percent on social progress which examines items such as as anti-corruption and human rights policies in the city, as well as access to health and welfare services.

Christmas fair at the Great Square (Stortorget) in the old town of Stockholm, Sweden.  Getty Images
Christmas fair at the Great Square (Stortorget) in the old town of Stockholm, Sweden. Getty Images

Radu said Edmonton is already improving on sustainability, including electric buses, electric scooters and the latest LRT expansion that offers visitors low-carbon transportation options.

“It’s about making sure that the tourists who come to our city and whom we know want to participate in sustainable experiences and that tourism products and services have it,” Radu said.

“But it’s also about preserving Edmonton for future generations and ensuring that when we expand tourism to the city, we do so in a way that also best serves Edmonton and Edmontonians.

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