Sustainability (1)

Visit Tamar Valley and Green Acorn

Championing Climate-Positive Steps in the Tamar Valley

Visit Tamar Valley is dedicated to supporting Climate Change with its own Sustainability Pledge and work towards Green Tourism. As part of the Tamara Landscape Partnership Scheme’s Come Visit Stay Awhile project Visit Tamar Valley has partnered with The Green Acorn Award Scheme. Green Acorn is a voluntary “green tourism” initiative run by SECTA for over a decade. It’s also recognised as a model of good practice in the BS 8900 British Standard for Sustainable Business.

Starting June 2024, with the backing of National Lottery Heritage Funding, Visit Tamar Valley has initiated a programme to sponsor 10 tourism and hospitality businesses in the Tamar Valley region. Dubbed ‘Ambassadors’, these businesses will receive support to engage with the Green Acorn scheme and strive for an Award by implementing a minimum of 25 actions to reduce the environmental footprint of their businesses and also that of their guests. They’ll also be encouraged to share insights and best practices with other local businesses, fostering sustainability across the Tamar Valley tourism sector. By the latter half of 2025, our ambassador businesses will play a key role in crafting a Sustainable Tourism Charter for the Tamar Valley.

Furthermore, the scheme will recognise the commendable practices already implemented by many businesses, encouraging them to sustain their green practices and share their successes and expertise through their listings on the Visit Tamar Valley website. 


Sustainability Saves Tomorrow

In 2023 carried out extensive research into sustainable travel. Here are some key takeaways:

76% of travellers said that they wished to travel more sustainably in the coming 12 months.

Whilst 49% of travellers believe more sustainable travel options are too expensive, 43% are willing to pay extra for travel options with a sustainable certification.

The “Tourism 2023” report by ABTA highlights the commitment of leading UK tourism stakeholders to creating a profitable industry that benefits destinations and protects the environment. This initiative, supported by Forum for the Future and Defra, emphasizes developing sustainable products, protecting the environment, and ensuring tourism benefits local communities​ (ABTA)​.

Mintel’s 2024 report on sustainability in travel reveals that a significant portion of UK travellers, especially younger generations, prioritise sustainability when booking holidays. It also notes that consumers are increasingly aware of the environmental impacts of their travel choices and seek options that align with their values​ (Mintel Store)​.

Additionally, a Twissen report underscores the need for sustainable tourism development in the UK, stressing the importance of investment in rural and maritime areas to unlock their full potential. The report calls for updated tourism legislation, improved transport systems, and the promotion of regional products to support sustainable tourism growth​ (Twissen)​.

This research highlights an increasing awareness and concern about the environmental impacts of travel. Travelers are driven not only by a desire to protect the planet for future generations but also by the personal health and well-being benefits associated with sustainable practices.

What Ambassador Businesses can expect from the programme

What are the benefits for businesses that take part?

Ambassador businesses will be presented in PR, social media, newsletters, and marketing campaigns, and their business listings will be featured on the Visit Tamar Valley website. In turn, our team of businesses will be encouraged to produce case studies and be on hand to support and mentor similar businesses in the Tamar Valley. They will also have the opportunity to contribute to the development of Visit Tamar Valley’s Green Tourism Charter in the second half of 2025. 

Meanwhile Visit Tamar Valley has published its Sustainability Pledge for 2024 and 2025. 

How the process works

If you are interested in putting your business forward for the programme, please complete our questionnaire linked below. We’ll keep the link open until the end of July. Once applications close we’ll be in touch to invite our chosen Ambassadors to participate in an onboarding meeting with our experts from Green Acorn. 

Once selected to take part, each Ambassador business will undergo an inspection followed by appropriate resources and support to help them work towards receiving the award. Under the scheme, there will also be a follow-up inspection two years later. After that, our Ambassadors can choose to continue with Green Acorn membership independently if they wish.  Throughout the programme, our Ambassador business team will be able to meet regularly to learn, share experiences and support each other.

Visit Tamar Valley will utilise its various channels as the programme unfolds to highlight progress, share insights and raise the visibility of our Ambassadors and their businesses in the short-stay market, to help keep them front of mind. 

Meanwhile, Visit Tamar Valley has already published its own Sustainability Pledge for 2024 and 2025. 

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Get involved

Please take a few moments to complete our questionnaire now. Please scroll down the form to reveal all seven questions before submitting your responses.

Remember, we’d love to hear your views about sustainability in the tourism and hospitality sector regardless of whether you would like to be chosen to take part. So please have your say. Thank you in advance for taking the time and please refer to our Privacy Policy for information about data collection.

Additional Resources

In 2023, Visit Tamar Valley was awarded a Bronze award by Green Tourism. Green Tourism’s certification programme celebrates the dedication of tourism businesses actively pursuing sustainability. The Bronze, Silver and Gold awards are globally recognised symbols of environmentally-conscious practices, serving as milestones in a journey toward greater sustainability and attracting eco-conscious travellers. Businesses who wish to pursue a Green Tourism Award as an alternative or additional award can apply to Green Tourism direct. 

Meanwhile, we’ve included a library of resources for you to browse and download.