Gold rush to go Green!

Tourism businesses reaching the gold standard in Visit Isle of Wight’s new Green Star scheme have been announced.

Nearly 50% of Isle of Wight businesses signed up to the newly relaunched scheme have achieved gold.

To reach gold standard, businesses must have committed to meeting 85% of the criteria that relate to promoting the use of sustainable transport.

Examples include inspiring guests with information on how to travel to and around the Isle of Wight sustainably, offer dedicated walking and cycling facilities or providing an electric vehicle charging point.

More than 60 businesses have pledged to promote the use of sustainable transport during the first three months of Visit Isle of Wight’s Green Star scheme.

The new scheme has 3 levels of entry – bronze, silver and gold membership – encouraging all Isle of Wight tourism businesses to be a part of the scheme at any level and receive recognition.

Of the 61 members, 26 have now reached gold standard.

Paul McCathie from Goodleaf Tree Climbing explained that some small changes helped them get gold:

‘We made a couple of little tweaks and then bingo, we were in there, it was great! It was very helpful to get that support from Visit Isle of Wight too.’

Rossanne Burfoot is from the marketing team at Isle of Wight Pearl. She explains that although they are in a beautiful but remote part of the Island, it wasn’t difficult to advocate sustainable travel:

‘The Isle of Wight Pearl has always been a supporter of all things green, of all things eco. The sustainable travel option for us has always been walking and cycling but actually promoting the fact that people can be involved with us using the bus network is helpful. Southern Vectis support us through the peak season with Coaster bus, but all year round we like to help out by telling people where they can get from the bus stop in Brighstone village.’

Dan Bray from Lyon Court in Shanklin, says getting gold doesn’t have to be expensive either:

‘The Green Star scheme is free to join and doesn’t require expensive resources. We don’t have to pay to go on familiarisation trips and a lot of the information we need to provide is online and available from Visit Isle of Wight.’

Tim Anderson is the skipper and owner of Coral Star, from Anderson Cruises in Yarmouth:

‘I think it is important for everyone, because if we don’t do something about it then we’re going to have terrible problems in the future, so if everyone can do little bit it’s going to change world.’

Nicola Rogers, Visitor Travel Project Manager at Visit Isle of Wight, said:

‘I’m really pleased that so many businesses are proactively encouraging their guests to choose sustainable transport options. Not only do we all need to play our part in protecting the environment, we also need to act on the evidence that holidaymakers are seeking eco-friendly trips by making it easy for them to choose the Isle of Wight.

I’d like to thank our existing Green Star members for their support and to invite anyone else in the tourism industry to get in touch to find out more.’

To get in touch, email Nina Murphy – nina@visitwight.org

The Green Star scheme has been developed in partnership with the Isle of Wight Council as part of the Access Fund for Sustainable Travel – a £1.3 million three year sustainable transport programme which was secured competitively from the Department for Transport (DfT), now in its final year.

Business that have reached gold include:

  • Glamping the Wight Way
  • Foxhills of Shanklin
  • Island Riding Centre
  • Westbury Lodge
  • Lyon Court
  • The Bay Boutique B&B
  • The Miclaren
  • Isle of Wight Pearl
  • Sentry Mead
  • The Leconfield
  • The Caledon
  • Grange Farm Holidays
  • Firefly House
  • Goodleaf Tree Climbing
  • The Pilot Boat Inn
  • Old Shanklin Guest House
  • Grange Bank House
  • Ninham country Holidays
  • Haven Hall
  • Monkey Haven
  • Nettlecombe Farm
  • Anderson Boat Cruises (Coral Star)
  • The Corner House
  • The Clifton