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Awards signal 'green revolution' for Cornish tourism

While Sir Menzies Campbell, David Cameron and Tony Blair make competing claims over their green credentials, four tourism businesses in Cornwall can now prove their commitment in the form of an internationally recognised award, the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS).

Pollaughan Farm Cottages on the Roseland, Venus Beach Café and Shop, Tolcarne, Primrose Valley Hotel, St Ives and Penwarren Guest House, Falmouth have all been accredited in the Green Tourism Business Scheme, Europe's largest scheme for tourism businesses that care for their local area and the wider environment.

The award is just the latest step for these tourism businesses who have been key participants in the Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project (CoaST), and have been spreading the 'green' message to fellow businesses as 'Ambassadors' as part of a support programme through CoaST.

Manda Bookman, Manager of the CoaST Project, comments: "The CoaST Ambassadors have been a critical part of CoaST's efforts to drive up interest in sustainable practice across the industry, and to now have their efforts rewarded by becoming the first four Green Tourism Business Scheme accredited businesses in Cornwall is simply fantastic. They have set the bar high!"

Pollaughan Farm Cottages on the Roseland have achieved a Gold Award from GTBS. The ethos at Pollaughan has always been to care both for the visitors and community, by working hard to raise awareness about how simple measures can help minimise the impacts on Cornwall and its beautiful environment.

Valerie and Tim Penny from Pollaughan, said: "We are delighted to be the first GTBS Gold standard accommodation provider in Cornwall. It is all about the little things, which added together, have a bigger impact. It doesn't have to be about making major changes or investment. Many will find they are already doing a lot of the things required to achieve an award. We hope that other businesses will be inspired."

Venus Beach Café and Shop, Tolcarne are also Gold Award winners, the latest achievement for the Venus Company, which picked up a string of awards in 2005 from, The Queen's Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development and Cornwall Sustainable Business of the Year to the International First Choice Responsible Tourism Award.

Mike Smith, Managing Director of the Venus Company, said: "We are very pleased to have received a gold award at Tolcarne, which supports our business mission to be the greenest beach café and shop operator. We are confident that this recognition will have a positive impact on our business at Tolcarne in a similar way as we have experienced at our three beach sites in Devon."

Primrose Valley Hotel, a contemporary style hotel in St Ives, has achieved a Silver Award from GTBS. They have focused their efforts on reducing the impact that they and their guests make on the environment, particularly by sourcing high quality local produce and supporting the Marine Conservation Society with a 'visitor donation scheme'.

Sue Biss, of Primrose Valley Hotel, said of the awards: "We're very excited to be the first hotel in Cornwall to receive a GTBS award, and we have to thank our guests and staff for their support and ideas. This will only spur us on to do more and to help influence others of the long term economic and environmental benefits of going green!"

Penwarren Guest House in Falmouth has been run by Ann and Alex Holmes for just over two years and has achieved a Silver Award from GTBS. During the two years, Ann and Alex have taken small steady steps with the help of CoaST, Cornwall College, guests and staff alike.

Ann, from Penwarren Guest House, said: "We are over the moon to be Cornwall's first GTBS Guest House. Our guests say they like to know they are supporting a business that in turn is supporting Cornwall. It's surprising what a big difference a little effort will make and you can save money too; it's all good news!"

Teresa Timms, Public Relations Manager for Visit Cornwall, believes that these achievements are part of a wider shift within tourism: "We would like to believe that Cornwall could, and should, lead the way in sustainable tourism. Our visitors are increasingly concerned about the impact they have on the environment so it's really encouraging to see the way in which many of our tourism businesses are embracing sustainable tourism practices, and are being recognised for doing so."

The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS), which was recently rolled out across the South West and has members in Scotland and several other English regions, examines a wide range of issues before awarding gold, silver or bronze. As well as energy, water and waste, GTBS looks for visitor involvement, support for local products and businesses and of course, the local wildlife.

Neil Warren, Sustainable Tourism Manager of South West Tourism, concluded: "This is only the starting point in Cornwall and we invite more businesses to seize this opportunity. Interest has been particularly strong and before the summer is through we should start to see a good choice of places to stay and visit with the extra 'feel good' appeal that this award offers."

Tourism Businesses wanting to receive a GTBS information pack regarding the accreditation scheme should contact Green Business on 01738 632162, or email: CoaST can offer local support to businesses wanting to develop their sustainable practice, call 01872 562057 or email: for more information.

For further information please contact Liz Dale at South West Tourism on 01392 353218 or email

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


Editor's notes:



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

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