Good quality tourism facilities in Wales are being celebrated this month (April 2016) as an international accreditation, Green Key, celebrates one-year of operating in Wales.
Lesley Jones, Chief Executive for Keep Wales Tidy, an environmental charity, has applauded the scheme that awards excellent standard tourism and hospitality establishments with an internationally-acclaimed sustainable accreditation.
“Tourism is such a pivotal part of our economy here in Wales- we’re renowned for our wonderful beaches and beautiful rolling hills but it’s as important to recognise and celebrate the people and establishments that bring everything together for a visitor.”
Wales attracts over 930,000 international visitors per year, spending £368 million on average.
Run by environmental charity Keep Wales Tidy, Green Key has already awarded many hospitality providers in Wales, including Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority visitor centres with the international excellence award, putting Wales’ tourism network on the world map.
More than 2,100 hotels, B&B’s, campsites, restaurants, and attractions in 45 countries worldwide are promoting sustainable tourism by boasting a Green Key Award.
With 57% of staying visitors in Wales believing it is ‘very important’ to choose destinations that are managed sustainably*, Green Key offers visitors to Wales a pool of environmentally responsible businesses to visit, from campsites, B&B’s, Hotels, attractions and restaurants.
Lesley Jones said:
“Green Key is more than an award or a certificate for a business, it’s about putting Wales on the world map and providing visitors with the reassurance and peace of mind that by visiting a Green Key site, they are visiting an environmentally sustainable and responsible place with excellent standards.”
Green Key has been developed specifically for the hospitality industry, enabling businesses to make positive environmental changes, without compromising on service and guest experience. And as an international accreditation, Green Key accreditation holders can expect to be made visible internationally as well as in the UK.
Green Key accreditation guides hospitality providers through the process of making their businesses more sustainable, ultimately making commercial as well as environmental savings. Areas of focus for the accreditation include energy, water, waste, green activities and guest engagement.
Jane Nerys O’Brien, owner of Green Key accredited Northlodge Eco Holidays, has worked in the environmental field for over 25 years and is an energy and sustainability expert, says of their accreditation:
“As an auditor myself, I selected Green Key for our business as it has a simple to use but robust system, as well as a local presence with a great marketing approach’’
Green Key allows Welsh businesses to celebrate the positive environmental changes they are implementing and market themselves to an audience that is increasingly aware of their environmental responsibilities.