Ranked 3rd favourite sustainable destination after Stockholm and Copenhagen by Tripadvisor users and the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index)[1] in 2024, Bordeaux is now one of the world’s most renowned cities for responsible tourism

Olivier Occelli, Director of BEAM’s historical partner, the BMTCO, shares the details of a collective victory and unfailing commitment.  

How did you react to this ranking?  

We’re obviously very proud. If one can speak of performance, I believe it is above all the result of five years of invested effort to implement this sustainable and responsible tourism, on all levels. It has been a truly collective task with all our stakeholders, including inhabitants, local community groups and tourism professionals, among others. While up to 2019, the regional marketing strategy we employed contributed to the growth of the destination, we felt it was essential to rapidly incorporate sustainable development in the broader framework of the CSR. The strategy was thus redirected accordingly.

How did you develop this sustainable strategy?

We started by drawing on existing barometers, such as the GDS Index, which is an authority in the sustainable urban tourism sector. Its 80 criteria change annually and take an extremely diverse range of factors into account, such as professionals’ environmental commitments, social policies, or local authority waste management. And then? Everyone set to work to identify the actions to initiate in order to make Bordeaux a recognised destination for sustainable tourism. This led to the joint drafting, in 2021, of a 2022-2026 road map consisting of 32 actions, integrating highly concrete measures in the 3 tourism segments we cover: business, leisure and local tourism.

How is this road map applied to business tourism?   

We believed certification would offer a particularly relevant and pragmatic starting point to this process. At present, more than 210 BMTCO members are committed to this type of approach. Typically, BEAM is ISO 20121-certified, and numerous hotels have Green Key certification. The certifications vary according to the activity sector. We set ourselves an ambitious target of 80% of our 500 members committed by 2026.

Are business tourism customers sensitive to this eco-responsible approach?

We’ve seen proof that when we’re competing with other cities, Bordeaux’s sustainability strategy can clearly tip the balance for certain organisers. It’s a new string to our bow! Our Conventions Office has observed a genuine interest on the part of organising bodies, companies or community groups, most of whom are already committed to CSR strategies. It must be remembered that this sustainable strategy was initially driven by business tourism, some fifteen years ago, and subsequently spread into all other branches of the sector.

This commitment to sustainability also includes training for your teams…

Exactly. Our Conventions Office, which works hand in hand with BEAM, developed a new form of support in recent years. Up until the present, this support came more in the form of logistical assistance and networking with our members. Training in sustainable event organisation for our teams is a new milestone, however, which enables them to guide organisers. They benefit, for instance, from online training we developed in partnership with ADEME [French Agency for Ecological Transition]. This represents a true added value, allowing us to spend more time with our customers and match their practices. For instance, event organisers can collaborate with local groups listed in a directory published to this aim, and thus leave a definitively positive impact on the region. Our wish is to engage them more fully in this aspect. They must be aware of the legacy they leave behind; their commitment is not a simple ‘one shot’! What we offer at present is clearly innovative and will lend us a competitive edge in the future.

[1] This new ‘Tripadvisor’s Best of the Best Sustainable Destinations 2024’ ranking is the fruit of a joint effort between Tripadvisor and the Global Destination Sustainability Movement (GDS-Movement). Its aim is to promote the eco-responsible destinations chosen by travellers worldwide.

Don't miss...
our next events
news from our 5 locations


With a passion for authentic, local and sophisticated cuisine, HUMBLOT EXPERIENCE skilfully combines creative gastronomy with upmarket hospitality. Excellence, innovation
Read +


After over 35 years pouring his inventiveness and passion into his business, Philippe Capdevielle’s son Romain has now taken over,
Read +


ALIVE, a true specialist in sound, lighting and giant LED screens, is a partner of choice for quality stage performances
Read +