(Greater Palm Springs, CA) – Each year the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition collects sustainable tourism stories and good practices from destinations all over the world to be shared as inspiring examples to others, from tourism professionals to travelers. By telling their stories, destination managements organizations (DMO) are acknowledged and recognized for the solutions they have implemented in response to challenges and problems to sustainable development they have faced.
Visit Greater Palm Springs (VGPS) was included in the 2023 selection with the story Nine Cities, One Oasis: Building a Tourism TEAM of Champions. This entry told the story of how Visit Greater Palm Springs works to unite the tourism and hospitality workforce to promote equity, inclusion, and regional collaboration. Tourism has lent commonality to the region as its top economic activity, generating $8.7 billion for the local economy and supporting 1 in 4 jobs. The destination’s nine cities hold a shared goal of sustainably growing tourism in the region; however, the workforce remains fragmented – VGPS needed a way to unite its tourism workforce and create an equitable environment for all to participate in this growth. To address this disparity, Visit Greater Palm Springs devised TEAM GPS, a program to connect these cities and provide the workforce with knowledge and skills needed to excel in their careers, while empowering them to shape and support a sustainable tourism industry.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for the work of TEAM GPS to advance our destination’s sustainability practices,” said Lauren Bruggemans, Director of Sustainability & Community Engagement at Visit Greater Palm Springs. “While we are proud of our work in sustainability, DEI and workforce development, we know there is much more to be done. This recognition by Green Destinations underscores the importance of investing in our workforce and that centering our community is a meaningful and impactful pillar in our strategy towards becoming a more sustainable destination.”
The story “Nine Cities, One Oasis: Building a Tourism TEAM of Champions” and the entire 2023 Top 100 list can be found here.
About Visit Greater Palm Springs
Visit Greater Palm Springs is the official tourism marketing agency for the nine-city Southern California oasis of Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, and Coachella. Founded in 1989 with a mission to positively affect the destination’s $8.7 billion tourism economy and quality of life for its citizens, the organization serves more than 3,000 business partners, providing sales, marketing and PR targeted to potential leisure travelers and event, meeting, and convention group markets.
About Green Destinations
Green Destinations is a Netherlands-based organization working on the assessment, capacity building and certification of destinations and businesses committed to sustainable tourism. Green Destinations manages a number of global programs through a core team of coordinators and program managers. The organization leads a global partnership of over 50 representatives, consisting of sustainable tourism experts, consultancies and non-profit organizations; it works for the benefit of the Green Destinations community. To date, more than 450 destinations and 50 businesses from 60 countries have participated in one of our programs. Together with the Green Destinations Community and the association, the organization aims to make tourism better and more sustainable.