Challenges and plans for 2024
January is a time for planning and New Year's resolutions. Take a look at the activities planned for 2024. We already encourage you to collaborate and share your plans and priorities for the year ahead!
Challenges and plans for 2024
In 2024, the Congress Bureau’s work will be centered around the theme of sustainability. Analyzing case studies from other European cities, implementing ESG activities, training and educational workshops for local industry, cooperation in the certification process of facilities, involvement in the Krakow City of Sustainable Business Tourism project and the MINEV project, and collecting data for the GDS-Index are key among the activities planned for next year.
We are setting our sights on cooperation with Kraków NETWORK and the Polish Congress Ambassadors Program, as well as knowledge exchange in the ICCA and City DNA associations.
Training for the industry
In October, the KCB team organized a training course on “Sustainable Tourism in Practice”. It was prepared specifically for small and medium-sized tourism companies that want to implement sustainable practices in their operations. It concerned the use of practical tools for implementing green and socially responsible practices in one’s business. This is the first in a series of training sessions for the industry organized by the Tourism Department on this topic. In-depth training is planned for the next year on topics such as sustainable tourism certifications, marketing and promotion.
The MINEV project
In 2023, Krakow joined the MINEV project, which is being implemented under the INTERREG EUROPE Program. It aims to reduce the amount of waste generated during major events, making the city more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Preventing waste and applying sustainability principles to hosting large events can help reduce environmental degradation and emissions.
Stakeholders of the project include the Krakow Festival Office, Arena Krakow S.A., the Board of Sports Infrastructure in Krakow, the Nowohuckie Centrum Kultury, the Marshal’s Office of the Małopolska Region, the UMK Department of Social Communication, the Municipal Cleaning Company Sp. z o.o., the Congress Bureau of the UMK Department of Tourism – Krakow Convention Bureau, Targi w Krakowie Sp. z o.o. and the RB Group. Partners of the project outside of Krakow are: Málaga (Spain), Klaipeda (Lithuania), Bologna (Italy), the Region of Central Macedonia (Greece) and the ACR+ organization (Belgium).
The GDX-Index – results, trends, leaders
The GDS-Index is a benchmarking initiative. Now in its seventh year, the index compares cities on the basis of their sustainability performance, with the classification based on 70 criteria. In 2023, the GDS index saw significant growth, with 100 destinations from 11 countries from around the world, including as many as 42 new cities sending a clear message of willingness to cooperate and change. 86% of the destinations improved their previous performance.
The ranking describes the performance of specific regions, like Western and Eastern Europe, North America, the Nordic countries, Asia and the Pacific. As for Poland, our country is included in the Eastern European region. Four cities from the region participate in the ranking, with Gdańsk joining Krakow, Ljubljana and Tallinn in 2023. According to the GDS-Index, all cities showed strong commitment.
Krakow was the first Polish city to join the GDS-Index, in 2022. The authors scored Krakow for having a good destination management strategy, as well as an open diversity, equality and inclusion (DEI) policy. The classification made on the basis of 69 criteria, divided into four main categories, yielded the following results: the city’s environmental activities 60.3% (66.7% in 2022), the city’s social activities 56.6% (59.2% last year), supplier activities 12.7% (10.4% in 2022), and city management activities 43.2% (up from 33.6%). Krakow received a total of 43.2 points – the areas that need work are primarily service providers operating in the tourism sector – such as hotels and agencies. Certification of facilities and entrepreneurs appears to be the biggest challenge. In addition, the scope of DMO management and strategy should be deepened and structured.
PR and communications
Issues related to the communication of sustainable development activities are being improved on an ongoing basis. A dedicated tab has been expanded on the Krakow Convention Bureau website: Sustainable meetings. We also created a series of interviews published on the website and social media – “Wide open for sustainable meetings”. In them we outline the activities of Krakow’s conference venues, hotels and companies to organize events in the spirit of sustainability. The series forms a collection of good practices, and is a source of knowledge and inspiration in the field of creative efforts to work in harmony with nature.