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British tourism told to get greener

by David Masters
March 31, 2009

Tourism must become more sustainable and eco-friendly if it is to have a long term future, tourism minister Barbara Follett said this week.

Speaking at the launch of the government’s new sustainable tourism framework for England, Follett said the tourism industry is as responsible as everyone else for combating climate change.

“All of us must try to behave in a more environmentally responsible way and the tourism industry is no exception,” Ms Follett said.

“If we value the future of our world and if we want to protect our country’s unique tourism offer for future generations, we must take sustainability seriously and not see it just as an add-on luxury.”

The recession must not be used as an excuse to put off environmental action, she added.

“There are already many businesses doing exemplary work in this area but more must do so and soon.

“We have to challenge our thinking about what is on offer and how businesses are run.”

The sustainable tourism framework sets out six key challenges for the tourism industry. These are:

  • Minimising environmental impact by cutting back on resource use and reducing waste.
  • Facing up to the impact of tourism transport.
  • The need for high quality holidays, accessible to all people.
  • Improving the quality of work for tourism employees.
  • Using tourism to maintain community prosperity and quality of life.
  • Reducing short term seasonal demand and making tourism into a year-round activity.
  • To achieve the framework’s challenges, tourism businesses will be encouraged to make green improvements to bulidings and equipment, source food locally, and make jobs available to local people.

    Companies will also be encouraged to advertise more off-peak breaks, and promote non-seasonal events.

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