Learn how to manage destinations through regenerative business models, destination stewardship approaches, and stakeholder engagement methodologies.

We are all under pressure: visitor economies, their host communities, the earth, and the vulnerable. We need a new approach to recover, flourish, and thrive. 

Join us on a journey to a new mindset as we: 

  • Discover regenerative business models
  • Explore effective destination stewardship 
  • Embrace stakeholder through slow learning with industry leaders 

What is this course about?

In this course, you will be taken on a 4-month journey to explore and develop a new mindset leveraging the latest in regenerative systems thinking.

You will investigate and learn about new regenerative business models, destination stewardship approaches and stakeholder engagement methodologies that enable DMOs to catalyse investment, generate jobs, develop knowledge, equitably distribute prosperity, and deliver unforgettable visitor experiences.

You will learn from destination leaders, experts and each other, to gain new perspectives on what it entails to create, market and steward future fit destinations. 

Who is this online course for?

Tourism and DMOs professionals who would like to learn an innovative approach towards destinations management.

Start date: 1 September 2022

Project preparation time: 17 November - 8 December 2022

Graduation: 15 December 2022

Allow 1 hour for pre-Module activities and another hour for homework after each Module. The final group project will take about 8 hours.

Download the full curriculum HERE

Pricing options

*GDS-Movement, ICCA and CityDNA members have 200 euros discount. Contact us HERE to get your discount code. 

**We invite you to help us support students from low-income countries by donating and gifting 50 euros towards their education. Financially challenged right now, but want to learn? We offer a limited number of scholarships, please contact us HERE, explaining why you would love to learn with us and how you will benefit from our scholarship.

Chief Changemaker, GDS-Movement

Guy Bigwood

For the last 15 years, Guy has been delivering award-winning consulting services focused on helping cities, governments, corporations and associations step up, scale up and speed up their sustainability programmes and regenerative practices. Guy’s pioneering work has been recognised with 22 sustainability awards including the Events Industry Council Pacesetter Award, and recognition as a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment.

Chief Storyteller , GDS-Movement

Melissa Baird

Melissa is a communications specialist whose career has spanned publishing, advertising, brand, and marketing development. She has worked with global NGO’s, local government, major brands and was head of strategy at specialised advertising agency Ogilvy Earth. She is a passionate and dedicated teacher and has also developed a range of environmental literacy materials for use at South African schools. Her work with the GDS-Index began in 2015, and she is now Chief Storyteller and Head of Communications for the GDS-M.

Founding Partner & CCO, Group NAO

Peter Rømer Hansen

Peter Rømer Hansen is founding partner in innovation and strategy agency Group NAO. NAO works with strategic transformation and innovation within the experience and visitor economy. Projects include The Tourism Co-Operative with South Coast Demark and Tourism Taxes by Design as a multi-client project. Peter has been a key figure in developing destinations and tourism co-operation across Europe. As Executive Vice President of Wonderful Copenhagen, Peter played a lead role in building a strategic and analytical DMO, taking tourism to new levels with Big Tourism and innovation strategies.

CEO & Founding Partner, Group NAO

Signe Jungersted

Signe Jungersted is CEO and partner in innovation and strategy agency Group NAO. NAO works with strategic transformation and innovation within the experience and visitor economy. Projects include 101sustainableideas.com with Gothenburg and Power of Community with European Cities Marketing. Signe is formerly Development Director with Wonderful Copenhagen (DMO), where she was lead responsible and author of the 2020-strategy that declared ”The End of Tourism” and welcomed a new era of people-centric tourism development and localhood.

Consultant, #Meet4Impact

Jessica Vandy

Jessica is an international collaboration partner at #Meet4Impact supporting the development of social impact strategies within destinations. She is also a founder of The Tenth Letter, a New Zealand-based consultancy that supports the tourism and events sector with developing and implementing strategies for achieving a regenerative future. Jessica has spent the last eighteen years working in the tourism, events and business events sector in Australia and New Zealand. She consults on social impact, sustainability, events, and communications.

Professor of Sustainability Marketing, University of Surrey

Dr. Xavier Font

Dr Xavier Font is professor of Sustainability Marketing at the University of Surrey. He researches and develops methods of sustainable tourism production and consumption. He has published widely about sustainable tourism certification, and has consulted on sustainable product development, marketing and communication for several United Nations agencies, the International Finance Corporation, the European Commission, multiple national tourist boards and industry. 

Resident Futurist, GDS-Movement

Ed Gillespie

Ed Gillespie is a keynote speaker, writer, communications specialist, serial entrepreneur and futurist. As well as the Resident Futurist at the GDS-Movement, Ed is a facilitator with the Forward Institute for responsible leadership, a Director of Greenpeace UK, a Trustee of Energy Revolution, and a founder investor and former Chair of pioneering online rail ticketing business ‘Loco2’ now rebranded as Rail Europe. Ed co-hosts Itunes chart-topping podcast ‘Jon Richardson and the Futurenauts’ and ‘The Great Humbling’.

Guest Speakers

Over 20 guest speakers from destination management organisations around the world!

What our students say

'Enlightening and Catalysing'

Petra Stušek, CEO at Ljubljana Tourism and President Of The Board at City Destinations Alliance City DNA

It gave me the opportunity to develop something completely new and not to lean on our previous practices.

'Just loving it'

Noémi Mátray, Former Marketing and Events Manager, Hungarian Convention Bureau, Hungary

The GDS-ICCA-CityDNA Certificate in Regenerative Destination Management course is a place, a community where I meet wonderful minds, incredible ideas and implementations from around the world. The course is characterized by a higher level of thinking; we learn about methods, approaches what are not only sustainable but regenerative. In each module, I have a moment when I make the note, oh my! This is exactly what we want in our destination.

'A professional and engaging course'

Evelyn Teploff-Mugii, Executive Director, Creative & Business Development, The Art of Travel, Japan

I truly enjoy the modules – invaluable lessons combined with activities that allow me to put the learning into practice. Not only was is a remarkable learning experience, but also a chance to meet leading experts and fellow participants in the field. The GDS-Academy team offers solid support throughout, and the ample resources provided mean I will continue to learn and build on a great foundation.

'A real eye opener'

Martin Pohl, Market & Insights Manager Germany at the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions

After seven training sessions, I am amazed by the content presented, and the variety of professional speakers and practical examples. The course is structured with a common thread so that I am already well prepared to put it into practice; I will definitely bring the course content into my work and use it to exchange ideas with colleagues. Last, but not least, forming a network with the other students adds enormous value for me.

'It’s a great place to build network'

Kristin H. Oishi, Oslo-enthusiast & Sustainability Project Manager, Visit Oslo

I wholeheartedly recommend this course from Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDS-Movement). It's a transformative journey, diving into sustainability, regenerative principles and ways tourism can be a changemaker and a force for good. It’s a great programme, with a variety of interesting themes, very knowledgeable faculty, and inspiring guest speakers. And it’s a great place to build a network with other DMOs around the world.

'Fresh energy'

Frances van Klaveren, CAE, Community Engagement Manager, ICCA

The course really opened my eyes and provided me with fresh energy to tackle the topic of regeneration and sustainability, which otherwise can seem quite daunting, whilst at the same time providing practical tools to make things happen.

All Modules scheduled at 8:30 - 11am CET

Module 1 - Thursday, 1 September, 2022
An introduction to the Regenerative Revolution
Module 2 - Thursday, 8 September, 2022
Impact Strategy: Enabling, measuring and reporting on social and environmental transformation 
Module 3 - Thursday, 15 September, 2022
DMOcracy: Stakeholder engagement, co-creation and governance
Module 4 - Thursday, 22 September, 2022
Building Capacity: Tactical approaches to accelerating transformation  
Module 5 - Thursday, 29 September, 2022
Climate: current trends and developments 
Module 6 - Thursday, 6 October, 2022
Social Sustainability in Tourism
Module 7 - Thursday, 13 October, 2022
Events as a driver of good. Regenerative MICE strategies
Module 8 - Thursday, 27 October, 2022
Funding for tomorrow: developing regenerative funding and tax systems
Module 9 - Thursday, 3 November, 2022
Storytelling and communication strategies for regeneration 
Module 10 - Thursday, 17 November, 2022
From theory to practice: Strategising and purposing the DMO 

Thursday, 15 December, 2022