THE Isle of Arran’s flagship Youth Hostel has made the finals of a competition celebrating the best of Green Tourism – following a major eco-makeover.
Says a spokesperson: “Lochranza Youth Hostel, which reopened in 2010 following a £0.5 million refurbishment, is one of 20 finalists selected from across the UK for the Green Tourism Business Goldstar Awards 2011.
“SYHA Hostelling Scotland, the charity which owns Lochranza Youth Hostel and invested in a host of low carbon initiatives, is thrilled with the result.
“The refurbishment has been praised for sympathetically retaining the historic building’s charm and character, while modernising its interiors and facilities for the ever widening hostelling market.
“And while all SYHA Hostelling Scotland Youth Hostels are impressive on their eco-credentials, Lochranza has set a new benchmark with the installation of rain water harvesting, heat pumps and energy efficient lighting.
“Furthermore, the environmentally aware ethos which is at the core of SYHA Hostelling Scotland ensures practises at Lochranza Youth Hostel include regular recycling, advising guests on local public transport and accommodating cyclists and walkers.”
Steve Freear, manager of Lochranza Youth Hostel, said: “With its endless beaches, wildlife and unspoilt nature, Arran is a wonderful island to explore and a great destination for sustainable travelling.
“Almost half of our guests arrive without a car, and it’s a joy to get around the island by foot, bike or using public transport.
“Of course, respect for the environment has been part of the ethos of hostelling long before the term ‘green’ was invented, so we continually promote and support recycling, waste minimisation and use of public transport in the youth hostel community.
“The refurbishment aimed to offer more choice and facilities to the modern traveller, and we have been delighted to welcome growing numbers of visitors including many families and couples hostelling for the first time.
“Feedback reveals guests value the eco-initiatives and the importance of travelling in a way that is sustainable, and the great thing is more people are discovering how friendly and fun hostel holidays can be.”
Andrea Nicholas, managing director of the GTBS, said: “Lochranza Hostel impressed particularly with its environmentally-considerate refurbishment of the Victorian property.
“Cost efficiencies achieved through green initiatives mean that the hostel is open at weekends during the winter months, which the energy efficient building makes possible, helping to sustain the local community during low season.”
The accolade places Lochranza Youth Hostel in the top 2% of the greenest businesses across the UK and Ireland.
Ten winners will be announced during Green Tourism Week on June 9th.
The awards event will form part of Green Tourism Week taking place June 6-12 2011, from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
SYHA Hostelling Scotland is a registered charity dedicated to providing low-cost, quality accommodation across Scotland. The charity is committed to promoting the social, environmental and educational benefits of hostelling to all, from families to retired people, couples to groups of friends.
Visit www.hostellingscotland.com for more information about the Hostel Network. Book on line or call the Reservations Team on 0845 293 73 73.
Note to Editors:
SYHA Hostelling Scotland currently has a network of 71 hostels throughout Scotland.
The charity’s Hostels serve most of the country’s most desirable destinations, from key urban locations to breathtaking rural areas, including some of Scotland’s most remote, and enticing, beauty spots.
An important provider of accommodation services within the Scottish tourism sector, SYHA Hostels provide a unique base and services for the wealth of activities and events that take in the best of Scotland. These can include outdoor pursuits, festival going, environmental education, culture and heritage, wildlife watching, school trips, weddings and conferences.
Many of our hostels now offer single, twin and family rooms with en-suite facilities in addition to the traditional dormitory style accommodation.
With more than 20,000 registered members, SYHA Hostelling Scotland is the largest participant in the hostel market, attracting more than 500,000 overnight guests each year – of which about 40 per cent are from out with Scotland – with a valued contribution of over £20 million to the Scottish economy per annum.
SYHA Hostelling Scotland is a member of the worldwide community of Hostelling International, incorporating the International Youth Hostel Federation, which covers more than 90 Youth Hostel Associations around the world and offers members and guests amazing experiences in over 4,000 Youth Hostels in more than 80 countries.
The charity’s new website is designed to be user friendly, attractive and an inspiration to make the most of Scotland. To discover how we have improved it visit: www.hostellingscotland.com.
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