Festival lovers can expect a lot more from the Brecon Beacons this year with fantastic opportunities to walk, cycle, and mountain bike, follow a new canal food trail, take a journey off the beaten track or just hang out in the Park’s unique countryside with a good book or a great sound track. But now there’s even better news – visitors will be pleased to know that they could be staying in all the right places by supporting the area’s green and eco-friendly tourism businesses.
Behind the scenes, the National Park Authority has been in full swing promoting eco-friendly accommodation, local Welsh food and culture, along with traffic free cycle, horse-riding, fishing and canal routes – which they hope will encourage visitors to the Brecon Beacons to extend their stay. All that work is supported by a brand new leaflet called ‘Greener Holidays’ which showcases over 20 unique tourism businesses that have received a gold, silver or bronze awards under the respected Green Tourism Business Scheme.
A unique approach has been taken producing the leaflet where each tourism business has provided a statement about what it does to be considered green. This makes is clear to visitors exactly what each individual business has done to achieve its award, which could be anything from being a family run organic farm, solar panel generation, using home and garden produce in menus, promoting car free activities, self sufficiency to installing dual flush eco-friendly toilets. In fact the green credentials list is endless!
As well as providing a directory of green businesses to choose from, the leaflet also shows visitors what part they can play in the drive towards greener tourism with all the right kind of eco-information at their fingertips including advice on buying local produce, reducing the impact of waste on the National Park, leaving the car at home, following the countryside code and learning about local culture.
Nick Stewart, Collabor8 Officer for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority said: “Every year, Brecon Beacons National Park Authority does more and more to attract responsible visitors who care about the environment, providing a huge economic boost for sustainable businesses throughout the Park. The aim of the new Greener Holidays brochure is to help visitors make more informed choices that have a positive impact on the destination.
“It’s only half the task working with businesses to improve their environmental performance. Those businesses need to be gaining more custom as a result of their efforts, so the share of the market increases for greener products and services. Then we are really moving towards sustainable tourism businesses – when the balance between satisfied visitors, improved environmental and social impact, and financially thriving business is struck. Visitors have a clear option of choosing accommodation or businesses that look after the environment every bit as well as they look after their guests.
“As well as working with local tourism businesses to help make tourism greener, it’s important that we’re also working to help our visitors have a great low impact holiday that helps keep the Brecon Beacons National Park as beautiful and as healthy as it is now.”
And for those who want to relax and embrace the great outdoors, Brecon Beacons National Park is just one big sustainable tourist attraction itself, with a network of over 2000km of well-maintained footpaths, bridleways, cycle, mountain biking and canal routes. Going green has never been made so easy for visitors – with its remote wilderness, contrasting with sheltered ancient woodlands, reservoirs, breathtaking waterfalls, caves and windswept uplands – this is a National Park that has something for everyone, including those who just want to lie under a giant oak tree with a good book from the Hay Festival.
The new ‘Greener Holidays’ brochure is available from all Tourist Information Centres throughout the National Park (including Brecon, Abergavenny, Hay on Wye and Llandovery). It can also be downloaded at www.greenbreconbeacons.com There is also a wide variety of accommodation available offering visitors the chance to follow their eco-hearts to stay somewhere green. The Park’s website – www.breconbeacons.org and www.breconbeaconstourism.co.uk offer one-stop shops for green B&Bs, campsites, caravan parks, activity providers and tourist attractions as well as information on restaurants that serve local produce and whatever else is on offer.
Pictures: Copyright of Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
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©Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
NOTES TO EDITORS
• Brecon Beacons National Park demonstrates a huge ‘green’ commitment to environmental management and is fast developing an enviable reputation as a greener place to stay. More than 20 businesses have been certified by the Green Tourism Business Scheme which acknowledges and rewards their commitment to improving their environmental performance.
• The Green Tourism Business Scheme is the only certification scheme validated by Visit Britain and is considered the national sustainable tourism scheme for the UK. Businesses opting to join the GTBS are assessed by a qualified grading advisor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas like energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and more. To find out more please visit www.green-business.co.uk
• If you are a journalist writing a feature and would like to visit Brecon Beacons National Park or to obtain more press information and images, please contact Samantha Games, PR and Events Officer for Brecon Beacons National Park Authority on 01874 620 420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org For more information about Collabor8 contact Brecon Beacons National Park Authority’s Collabor8 Officer Nick Stewart on 01874 620490 or email@example.com
• The COLLABOR8 Project is 50% funded by the ERDF Interreg IVB North West Europe Programme. This partnership project involves nine different partners from Ireland, Wales, England, Netherlands and Belgium. It aims to actively involve clusters of small businesses in developing quality, sustainability and services that promote local ‘sense of place’. In this way each tourism cluster will be able to capitalise on the uniqueness of their regions to compete better in the EU and global markets.
• The partners involved in the COLLABOR8 project are: South Kerry Development Partnership Ltd. (IE) -(Lead Partner); DLG Government Service for Land and Water Management: Office of the National Project New Dutch Waterline Department (NL); Stichting Studio VMK (NL); Flemish Land Agency (BE); Tourism East Flanders (BE), Westcountry Rivers Trust (UK); South Downs Joint Committee (UK); Brecon Beacons National Park Authority (UK); and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council (UK).