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North-east tourism businesses offered free green audit to help grow industry

VisitAberdeenshire hopes sustainability audits will help boost tourism
VisitAberdeenshire hopes sustainability audits will help boost tourism

VisitAberdeenshire is offering free sustainability audits to help north-east tourism businesses meet customer expectations and grow the industry.

Up to 40 businesses across the region can kickstart the New Year by taking part in the free audit being offered as part of VisitAberdeenshire’s business recovery programme.

It follows a successful pilot project carried out with 16 businesses earlier this year.

Targeting green tourism markets

Businesses will be helped to understand what they need to do to become more sustainable, whether at the start of their sustainability journey or encouraging those who are already working towards sustainability goals, to take further steps.

The process involves an initial one-to-one tailored advice session which will lead to an action plan and one to one follow up advice on how to achieve it.

Topics covered may include whether a business is reducing its use of chemicals, promoting the use of public transport or electric vehicles, monitoring energy use and taking steps to become more energy efficient or communicating its green commitment to its customers.

Support north-east tourism growth

VisitAberdeenshire chief executive Chris Foy said the programme would help businesses attract tourists who are increasingly keen on ensuring their holidays are eco-friendly.

He said: “At last month’s Scottish Tourism Alliance conference, it was said that 76% of us in the UK are very concerned about sustainability issues.

Chris Foy, chief executive of Visit Aberdeenshire

“And a recent VisitBritain survey found that almost three in five of Europeans intend to now think more about sustainability and the environment when planning future holidays.

“This programme demonstrates our ongoing commitment to help local businesses meet customer expectations, and support sustainable tourism growth in the north-east.”

The business recovery programme is aimed at helping hospitality and tourism businesses build resilience in an uncertain market with themes including digital marketing, interpreting customer and market insights, and advice to develop new products and experiences.

The audits will be carried out by Green Tourism, a leading accreditation and support business for businesses and destinations in the tourism and hospitality sector.

The destination management organisation also recently launched a free “Game Changer for Tourism Business” programme also aimed at boosting the sector’s growth prospects in partnership by Opportunity North East (ONE) and Scottish Enterprise.

VisitAberdeenshire is co-funded by Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Council as well as ONE.

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