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Tourism businesses get help to become greener

18th September 2007

TOURISM businesses in the Cairngorms National Park have been chosen to pilot a national recycling scheme.

The Scottish Waste Awareness Group (SWAG) has chosen Britain’s largest national park to trial its latest project. The scheme will be aimed at and tailored to the tourism sector and it will provide recycling information and opportunities for businesses and visitors.

The Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) and the Cairngorms Recycling Forum are both supporting the project as it will help to deliver one of the Park’s aims – to promote sustainable use of natural resources of the area.

Tourism businesses and centres are now being invited to join. Discussion group meetings are taking place at the Cairngorm Hotel, Aviemore, on Tuesday 23rd October at 11am-12.30pm and 2.45-4.15pm. It will allow businesses to meet with SWAG officers to discuss recycling issues as well as how the new project should be developed.

Under the project businesses will be able to access up-to-date information on recycling facilities in the Park and how tourists can get involved in them. The information will be available in a number of ways, including the Waste Aware Business website which already provides information and tools to businesses on how to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

The website will also allow businesses to produce awareness raising posters and leaflets. It is also hoped to produce a promotional waste awareness product, such as re-usable bags for tourists.

Fiona Whyte, the SWAG’s Senior Campaigns Officer, said: “From our current research it is clear that the tourism sector is keen to become more sustainable but does not necessarily have all of the tools to allow them to do this.

“The Waste Aware Tourism pilot project will enable both businesses and tourists to reduce, reuse and recycle; helping Scotland to fulfil the Tourism Framework for Change ambition of making Scotland the greenest tourism destination in Europe.

“A large number of visitors come to the Cairngorms National Park each year to enjoy this beautiful area. We are keen to help tourism businesses in the Park to ensure that the area remains an attractive green tourism destination for many years to come.”

John Thorne, the CNPA’s Economic Development Officer, said: “The Park welcomes around 1.5 million visitors a year and has a number of tourism businesses, attractions and centres, which, like all of us unfortunately, contribute to waste in the Park. Therefore it is not only important that there are facilities available for businesses and tourists to recycle or reuse their waste, but also that they know and are encouraged on how and where they can access the facilities.

“We would encourage businesses to get involved in the project. It is important that the tourism sector not only has a strong economy and work force, but that it is sustainable.”

It will be one of a number of projects already running in the National Park to help deliver sustainable tourism. Others initiatives include the Green Tourism Business Scheme, where businesses are given bronze, silver or gold awards depending their sustainable and environmental credentials.

For more information or to book a place contact Fiona Whyte, Senior Campaigns Officer, SWAG, on 01786 468 797 or email [email protected]