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Sustainable Tourism – A Guide for Businesses
As a tourism business it is in your interest that sustainable tourism practices are put in place. The visitor should play an important role in achieving sustainability, but whether you’re an accommodation provider, a restaurant, a retailer…it is essential that you set the standards and strive for sustainability.
Benefits of sustainable tourism
Public awareness and concern for eco issues are on the rise, so if your business isn’t doing its part for the environment, your business could suffer.
Sustainable tourism not only brings benefits for the natural environment and the community in which you operate, but it can be advantageous from a business perspective.
Greening your business could help:
- Conserves resources
- Reduces waste
- Growth in local production and traditions
- Reduces traffic congestion and therefore emissions
- Protect natural landscapes and the environment
- Support the local economy and employment
- Attract a new, growing market of visitors who care about the environment
- Enhance visitor experience
- Save you money and maximise profits
Still not convinced? Look at the facts and figures. Greener business is good business.
How your business can become sustainable
Sustainable tourism isn’t rocket science. Just a few simple steps can be implemented with instant benefits:
- Travel light
- Save energy
- Recycle it
- Buy local
- Get an audit
- Get accredited
- Market yourself
Training & Events
Rememer, all Nurture Lakeland Business Members receive a free sustainable tourism advisory visit (saving you £110 - price for non-members).
Welcome to Nurture Tourism
We specialise in developing sustainable tourism, growing destinations and businesses. our clients span local destinations, national tourist boards and global corporations.
We have a strong track record in developing fundraising schemes and the visitor economy in the United Kingdom.
Simply put, Visitor Payback (VP) is a small donation made by a tourist or visitor to a local environmental conservation project via a tourism business they use.
The donations can be collected in a number of ways, which are covered in the "How it Works" section, and twice a year the money raised gets sent to the project, or projects, the business has chosen to support.
Visitor Payback is a great way of "putting something back". In Cumbria and the Lake District, approximately 15 million people per year walk on the fells, drive on the roads, and use the facilities during their holiday.
Sustainable Tourism Forum
Making the sustainable attainable, together.
Sustainable tourism has long been hot on the agenda within Cumbria. With the area relying on its breathtaking landscapes and its rich cultural heritage, there has always been a need to preserve these in order to maintain a healthy visitor economy. The local tourism boards and authority have strategies for it, charities have campaigns for it, and business owners have a passion for it.
Nurture Lakeland hosts a regular Sustainable Tourism Forum to bring all of these individuals together. The forum enables members to share ideas, learn about new initiatives and celebrate successes.
Members of the Forum bring together public transport bodies, business owners, landscape conservationists, academics, transport advisors, campaigners, local authority representatives and environmentalists. The group has been made up of some key conservation players and powerful drivers from the County Council, National Park Authority and Cumbria Tourism. Together this group can use their knowledge, experience, networks and expertise to work in partnership and put sustainable tourism in action.
Current members of the Sustainable Tourism Forum include:
- Alistair Kirkbride (LDNP, CCC, Sustainable Travel Advisor)
- Sophie Cade (Nurture Lakeland)
- Becky Willis (Sustainable Development Consultant, LDNP)
- Bob Cartwright (Lake DistrictNational Park)
- Jo Guiver (UCLAN)
- John Barwise (CGBF)
- Judith Moore (Friends of the Lake District)
- Nick Lancaster (Langdale Estates)
- Nigel Wilkenson (Windermere Lake Cruises)
- Richard Greenwood (Cumbria Tourism)
- Jessica Goodfellow (Eden Tourism)
Water is a precious resource and despite the rainy weather, water in the UK is not as abundant as you may think. According to Water Wise, some parts of the UK have fewer water resources than countries with hot climates such as Syria!
Over use causes shortages and these affect us all; we must remember how seriously shortages can harm our environment. Wildlife relies on fresh water for feeding and breeding and struggles to survive when water sources dry up.
How your business can save water
- Check for dripping taps
- Low flow or aerator fitted taps
- Individual flush urinals
- Encourage shower use by not having baths in rooms
- Install a “hippo” device into toilets
- Maintain toilets
- Wash on full loads
Shower and Tap Outputs
By changing the showerheads or installing aerators to taps you can restrict the output of water significantly. You are not just saving water, but also reducing costs, lowering heating fuel usage and therefore lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
Toilet “hippos” are dropped into the toilet cistern and save on average 3 litres of water per flush. Hippos can be bought cheaply and will pay for themselves within several weeks.
Toilets are a key area to check for leakages. A leaking toilet can waste a huge amount of water. Ask cleaning staff to check for leaks and inform management or maintenance staff for speedy repairs.
Towel & Linen
Implementing a towel and linen reusing system for guests can cut back on laundry frequency. You can significantly reduce the amount of water used. You will also save money on laundry cleaners, the amount of energy you use AND restrict the amount of chemicals entering your drains.
Setting up a towel and linen policy is easy. Promote to your guests that you are trying to reduce the hotel’s environmental impact by only washing towels and bed linen when needed. Even as a 5 star accommodation provider, you can invite guests to participate in an agreement and still achieve quality service for your guests.
Washing on Full Loads
Particularly in the hospitality industry, it is tempting to turn on the washing machine or dishwasher when it is not on a full load. But it’s really important we only use them on full loads. It will save you copious amounts of water, energy, money and products.
Love your Lakes – wash with care
Within the Lake District, water quality of the lakes is a key environmental issue. Laundry and general cleaning products have a direct impact upon the phosphate levels of our lakes and rivers. High phosphate levels are very damaging for the environment and aquatic life. By choosing to use phosphate free cleaning products and detergents in your business, and taking into consideration what you are putting down your drains, you can help keep our lakes stay clean and healthy.
For more information about phosphates and how you can do your bit, view our latest Love your Lakes campaign.
The main attractions of the Lake District are its natural landscape and diversity of wildlife. It is therefore in the interests of all tourism industry stakeholders that these are protected and preserved.
Local conservation projects rely on public giving. As a business you can encourage visitor donations and promote awareness of causes.
Fundraising for Conservation
Visitor payback schemes, through fundraising initiatives such as “opt out”, are a great way to raise crucial money for local projects. By adding a small amount to your customers’ bill, visitors can support conservation within the area they have enjoyed visiting, offsetting any (often indirect) damage they have caused during their stay.
Nurture Lakeland has a history of success with business fundraising. As well as “opt out” schemes, businesses can offer donation envelopes, donation boxes or sponsored products as alternative methods to raise money. More about fundraising methods
Awareness of the issues
Businesses should be aware of the current environmental issues affecting the area in which they operate. By either helping to fund or just promoting these, your business can have a positive impact on local conservation.
Local Conservation and your Business
- Support a local conservation or heritage project (find a project)
- Provide information on local nature reserves
- Provide nature tours and guided walks
- Host a talk for the public or your guests given by NL staff about the work we do. (Contact us to arrange something)
- Be aware of local wildlife attractions and natural habitats etc
- If you have a garden – plant native trees, develop a wildlife walk, install bird boxes or provide interpretation boards and informative literature
Market yourselfHaving an environmental commitment or a green accreditation is great for your business; you should communicate your commitment with others and be proud of the efforts your business is taking to achieve excellence.
How to do Green Marketing
Feature your commitment in your promotional materials as this will appeal to the modern tourist. Outline your commitment, identifying key actions or schemes you have adopted. Promote conservation of the local environment your business operates in and highlight what you are doing to support it.
- Feature environmental commitment in your literature and online
- Display information within your business
- Consider specific education and information tools to help engage the customer
- Highlight local food and suppliers on your menu
- Promote conservation organisations you are supporting
- Encourage recycling through signage
- Use media to shout about your policy
- Consider launching a green forum for feedback
Green marketing will benefit your business by attracting desirable customers (those who care about the environment). It can provide good opportunities for PR. Furthermore, if your ideas are particularly innovative your message may be communicated further than just within your local area.
Shout about it!
If you have had an external sustainable tourism or environmental organisation perform an audit within your business and have been awarded for your environmental commitment – shout about it! Some of these awards are nationally recognised and therefore help increase the profile of your business.
Keep it Real
Visit Britain have developed a fantastic online tool to help you learn more about green marketing. We recommend you give it a look to discover how you can best market and communicate your credentials. Link
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