THE Isle of Arran’s flagship Youth Hostel has won a top accolade at a ceremony celebrating the best of Green Tourism.
Lochranza Youth Hostel, which reopened in 2010 following a £0.5 million refurbishment and eco-makeover, has been named the winner of the prestigious Green Tourism Business Goldstar Award 2011.
The outstanding result sees Lochranza Youth Hostel ranked one of the UK’s top ten greenest businesses.
Says a spokesperson: “SYHA Hostelling Scotland, the charity which owns Lochranza Youth Hostel and invested in a host of low carbon initiatives, is thrilled with the achievement.
“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.
“Appealing to a strong youth market, boosted by the attractions of outdoor adventure activities on Arran, Lochranza is also doing its bit to educate travellers about making green choices from a young age.”
Steve Freear, manager of Lochranza Youth Hostel, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Lochranza has won this accolade.
“With its endless beaches, wildlife and unspoilt nature, and opportunities for outdoor adventure, 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.
“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, as well as a buoyant youth tourism market.
“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.”
Keith Legge, Chief Executive Officer for SYHA Hostelling Scotland, said: “In today’s world, increased awareness of the environmental impact of tourism is prompting the industry across the board to make travel more sustainable.
“Hostelling is a naturally eco-efficient way to travel, and now we are investing more in energy efficient measures, while our hostel managers are doing what they can to support sustainability in the community.
“We’re thrilled with this accolade for Lochranza, but it doesn’t stop here; we are continually exploring ways we can make all our hostels more eco-friendly and promote sustainable travel, so our members and guests can enjoy discovering the incredible Scottish landscape for generations to come.”
Andrea Nicholas, managing director of the GTBS, said: “We are delighted to recognise Lochranza Youth Hostel with the top award for Green Tourism Business.
“Lochranza Hostel impressed particularly with its environmentally-considerate refurbishment of the Victorian property.
“Furthermore, it was clear from our research that there is a strong culture of environmental awareness among the team at Lochranza which reflect the wider ‘green’ ethos of hostelling.
“From friendly, forthcoming advice on how best to explore Arran by public transport, facilities and info for cyclists and walkers to tips on where to shop and eat to support the local community, Lochranza is a destination which exemplifies how travellers can respect the environment while enjoying all it has to offer.”
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.
Green Tourism Business Scheme Notes to Editors:
The Green Tourism Business Scheme is recognised as the only national tourism certification programme in the UK endorsed by VisitEngland, VisitScotland and VisitWales and has been validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism since 2008. Operated by a not-for-profit organisation, Green Business, there are over 2,400 GTBS members through the UK and Ireland. Businesses are graded by qualified environmental assessors and can benefit from significant marketing advantage and reduced running costs of up to 20 per cent.
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