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Visit Scotland | Alba
Article published 18/05/2022

Scheme discount to help tourism businesses meet sustainability ambitions

Around 170 tourism businesses are set to benefit from discounted membership to certification schemes, aimed at supporting a green recovery and Scotland’s ambitions to become a sustainable destination.

As part of the Destination Net Zero programme, three sustainable certification programmes have successfully secured a total of £60,000 to ensure businesses recover from the impacts of COVID-19 in a sustainable manner.

The Sustainability Certification Fund for Tourism Recovery has been allocated to Green Tourism, Green Key and EarthCheck.

The three scheme providers will now be able to offer a £500 discount on their membership fees to those within the tourism industry looking to gain green certification.

Consumer concern over the environment and climate has doubled in the last decade and visitors are increasingly seeking out businesses and destinations with excellent green credentials.

Businesses with a sustainability certification can help make it easier for visitors to make environmentally conscious travel decisions.

As well as attracting visitors, taking part in a sustainability certification scheme and reviewing environmental practices can help reduce the carbon footprint of a business, in turn saving money on energy, water and waste bills.

Visitors are becoming increasingly aware of their impact on the world around them. We want to support their desire to be environmentally conscious by equipping those within the tourism industry with the knowledge and understanding of how their business can meet these needs, reduce their own operational costs, and preserve and enhance Scotland’s natural surroundings, all at the same time.

Rob Dickson, Chair of the Scottish Tourism Emergency Response Group (STERG)

Sustainability Certification Fund for Tourism Recovery

Earlier this year, as part of the Destination Net Zero Programme, we launched the Sustainability Certification Scheme Fund for Tourism Recovery. It provided grant funding to certification providers to support businesses to recover from the impacts of COVID-19 in a sustainable manner.

A total of £60,000 was allocated to three successful programmes:

  • Green Tourism: £50,000, aim to support around 150 new certified businesses
  • Green Key: £5,000, to support 10 new certified businesses
  • EarthCheck: £5,000, to support 10 new certified businesses 

Take a look at the three programmes offering a discounted membership to see which one is best for your business.

We are delighted to be working with VisitScotland as one of their chosen accreditation schemes to support tourism recovery in Scotland.  With increasing numbers of visitors and buyers making a business’s environmental credentials a critical part of their buying decision, becoming a member of Green Tourism can make a real difference to your commercial success by demonstrating your commitment to responsible tourism practices.

Andrea Nicholas, CEO Green Tourism

We’re looking forward to supporting tourism businesses across Scotland to become accredited with the international Green Key award thanks to this boost as part of the Destination Net Zero programme.

Green Key accreditation provides a comprehensive framework for continual environmental improvement and with visitors already looking for green credentials when making choices, now is the time for us to all step up and support a truly green and just recovery and promote responsible tourism across our beautiful country.

Barry Fisher, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, the Scottish operators of the international Green Key Award

EarthCheck is delighted to be working with VisitScotland and supporting operators to meet the expectations of the new carbon economy. COVID has given destinations and operators a breathing space to reset and redefine their commitment to more responsible business practices.

Based on a fundamental belief that what gets measured gets managed. The EarthCheck Certified programme will allow operators to scientifically benchmark their operational performance and identify where improvements can be delivered to the bottom line.

Stewart Moore, CEO and Founder, EarthCheck

Scotland's UNESCO Trail | Green certification offer

Scotland’s UNESCO Trail is a new digital trail connecting 13 place-based UNESCO designations across Scotland.

Responsible tourism is the beating heart of this project. The aim is to ensure that Scotland’s UNESCO Trail celebrates and prioritises businesses and communities that are committed to responsible tourism practices, increases understanding of the UNESCO values and encourages visitors to stay longer and explore more of what Scotland has to offer. 

If your business is located within a UNESCO Trail postcode area you may be eligible for a discount on your first year of membership of Green Tourism of up to £500* (See terms and conditions) and thereafter your membership will automatically renew with a 50% discount of your fees in year two and three.

You can find more information on this offer at the Green Tourism website.

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