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02.02.06
First businesses come forward for green accreditation

Following the successful Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project's Building on Distinction Event in late December at Bedruthan Steps Hotel in Mawgan Porth, over 20 businesses have expressed interest in the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) launched at the event.

The event, held to celebrate the success of the 23 CoaST (Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project) Ambassadors of Good Practice 2005, heralded the end of the Building on Distinction Programme, which received investment from Objective One, Cornwall Enterprise, CET and the Environment Agency.

Over 100 delegates attended the upbeat and informal full-day event at the new conference suite at Bedruthan Steps Hotel, the first hotel in the South West to take up Government Office South West's (GOSW) Greener Events Guide last autumn.

Phil Harding, head of Sustainable Business at GOSW, agreed that having Bedruthan use the Guide's checklist is: "Just brilliant because we really do want venues to start using it if we are serious about reducing the environmental impacts of conferences and seminars."

Carleen Kelemen, Director of the Objective One Partnership, added: "Sustainable tourism is a key driver of quality tourism for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The Bedruthan Steps Hotel is a great example and has proved how a business can be both smart and commercially successful with summer bookings already taken for a number of seasons ahead."

Emma Stratton, co-owner of the hotel, said of the event that it was tremendous to have so many people working on sustainable tourism, together in the same room, with such remarkable levels of energy and enthusiasm. "This is central to the ethos of the hotel – we're determined to do all we can to make step change in Cornwall towards a more sustainable industry!"

Feedback from the delegates was excellent, with many emailing in the next day to say they were 'inspired' and 'proud to be part of the day'.

Speakers included Justin Francis, of Responsible Travel.com, Malcolm Bell, chief executive of SW Tourism, and Jon Proctor of the Green Tourism Business Scheme, which used the event to launch the scheme in Cornwall.

Neil Warren of SW Tourism said: "The scheme is a key tool in helping businesses realise the opportunities of sustainable practice. We are delighted to be working with CoaST to offer this new and long-awaited scheme to businesses that deserve to receive recognition for their efforts and achievements."

Businesses applying to the scheme will be assessed and awarded a bronze, silver or gold rating, with increased publicity via SW Tourism and Green Tourism Business Scheme itself.

CoaST's Building on Distinction Programme has been running since November 04. Manda Brookman, manager, said: "The programme has been successful beyond even our hopes. CoaST's project officer, Jemma Roberts, has worked intensively with almost double the number of ambassadors we had planned, who now represent a small army of passionate, high quality businesses operating on the triple bottom line – caring for the economy, the community and the environment. The event at Bedruthan Steps was a truly remarkable day for us all, and the launch of the GTBS has happened with perfect timing – the ideal next step for the businesses who have worked so hard during the Building on Distinction programme this year. The future is bright for Cornwall's increasingly sustainable tourism industry!"

For further information please contact Manda Brookman, CoaST manager on 01876 562057 or email: info@coastproject.co.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the CoaST Building on Distinction Programme through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

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Editor's notes:

CoaST is an independent not for profit organisation with funding from a variety of private and public sector sources.

www.coastproject.co.uk

Membership of the Network is free and can be applied for via the website.

The Building on Distinction Programme ran from November 04 to December 05 and was funded by CET, Environment Agency, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Cornwall Enterprise and Objective One.

The Green Tourism Business Scheme is an independent not for profit scheme to accredit tourism businesses, currently being rolled out across the SW as part of the SW Tourism Towards 2015 strategy, to help deliver its target of "truly sustainable tourism".

www.green-business.co.uk

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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