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Go Green with the CNPA and VisitScotland!

31st October 2005

Tourism businesses in the Cairngorms National Park who haven’t yet joined the Green Tourism Business Scheme are being offered the chance to sign up to the initiative free of charge!

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and VisitScotland have joined forces to offer businesses the chance to attend one of two free training seminars on the Green Tourism Business Scheme, with a free follow-up on-site grading and advisory visit.  Furthermore, if the business can demonstrate that it is already meeting the criteria for at least bronze level of the award, they can become a member of the scheme without paying the usual joining fee.

The move follows the Sustainable Tourism Conference (Wednesday 26 October) at the Lecht where going green was a big theme.  The event – which was attended by over 100 delegates – was designed to allow everyone involved in tourism in the Park to get together to discuss the key issues and to learn more about the work of the CNPA and VisitScotland.

The European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas, which was officially awarded to the Cairngorms National Park in September, was a key focus of the event and there was discussion on how the industry can contribute towards the actions required to sustain the Charter in future.

Another important area highlighted was the use of the Cairngorms National Park brand. To qualify to use the brand tourism businesses need to be a member of an existing quality assurance scheme and commit to signing up to the Green Tourism Business Scheme within a year.

Tony Mercer, Head of Quality and Standards at VisitScotland said: “As a direct result of the feedback we received at the Lecht conference, we have decided to organise two Green Tourism Business Scheme seminars, on Monday 5 December in Aviemore and Thursday 8 December in Ballater.  The seminars will inform people about how the scheme works, the types of measures they need to put in place and how it contributes towards delivering a sustainable tourism industry in the Cairngorms National Park.”

Heather Galbraith, the CNPA’s Sustainable Tourism Officer said: “Visitors coming here do so for the wonderful natural environment and customers want to see businesses contributing in a positive way to the protection and enhancement of that natural environment. Use of the Cairngorms National Park brand is one way businesses can demonstrate their commitment to sustainable tourism but they have to be eligible to use it.

“Membership of the Green Tourism Business Scheme is a key criteria for using the brand so it is important that those businesses who haven’t yet signed up to the initiative are encouraged to do so. These seminars will focus on the simple but practical things that businesses can do to qualify and the benefits that these measures will present to the business and to the environment.”

For more information on the Green Tourism Business Scheme seminars please contact Heather Galbraith on tel: 01479 873535 or email:  [email protected].  Each seminar can accommodate up to 25 people. Places will be allocated on a first come first serve basis.