Bilbao has become the seventh best city in the world in the Global Destination Sustainability Index, where, this year, it has risen to 24th position. It is the first city in Spain to appear in this international ranking of the 100 cities most committed to the creation of joint strategies with respect to social, economic and environmental sustainability.

This result implies a climb of nine positions with respect to 2022 and a huge leap from the 42nd position obtained in 2021, the year in which Bilbao joined Global Destination Sustainability.

The Global Destination Sustainability index, an international ranking of sustainable destinations for the organisation of meetings, incentive trips, conferences and exhibitions (MICE sector), as a fundamental basis assesses the destination’s alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN Agenda 2030 using 71 indicators. In the case of the City of Bilbao, the improvements introduced by the Bilbao Convention Bureau have been assessed together with those of its suppliers, integrated in the standing commission for work “Bilbao Arima Berdea”

The aim of participating in this index, led by Bilbao City Council, is to establish a dynamics for the improvement of sustainable development and to recognise the work of local stakeholders with respect to sustainability, boosting confidence in our City for the organisation of international events. In collaboration with local stakeholders, Bilbao City Council seeks to increase its competitive advantage in the MICE sector. Prior to the health crisis, this enabled 1300 meetings per year to be held in the City, and this level of activity is gradually recovering.


The GDS index, drafted in collaboration with the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA), IMEX Group, City Destinations Alliance and MCI Group, is encompassed within the sustainable destinations movement. This brings together professionals from the sector with the aim of collaborating in the creation of strategies to enable destinations to achieve greater social, economic and environmental sustainability. This year, the ranking is headed by the cities of Gothenburg, Liverpool, Washington and Sydney.

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