Eco Gold awarded to Jersey Kayak Adventures by Green Tourism Business scheme
Sea kayaking is a superb adventure sport to experience the beauty of Jersey’s coastline and observe wildlife . It is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the environment and Green issues in Jersey.
Jersey Kayak Adventures has gone further by gaining the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Gold award and, is just one of five tourism related businesses in the Channel Islands to reach the Gold standard.
The Green Tourism Business Scheme is the most successful environmental accreditation scheme for tourism businesses of its type in the world, with approximately 2,500 members in the UK. Originally developed in 1997, the scheme assesses tourism businesses across of a range of measures (including energy, waste, water, purchasing, transport, communication etc.) with three levels of award: Gold, Silver or Bronze.
For a small company like ours meeting Green Tourism Business Gold standards may seem like yet another distraction from the daily task of running a business. In a recession some might argue that Eco credentials are considered less important by consumers.
Yet, when we looked at customer feedback we discovered that Green awards were a positive factor influencing bookings. Many customers reported that Eco awards encouraged them to book a sea kayak tour or course in Jersey.
We were assessed on a range of environmental indicators and customer service. A few of our approaches scored highly:
- Offering a discount to clients if they use public transport, cycle or walk to launching points.
Encouraging staff and clients to pick up discarded and old bits of fishing gear from remote beaches. Some clients have even treated this as a competition to see who can bring back the most detritus. The current record is a large wooded cable drum which ended up being recycled into a coffee table.
“In the case of Jersey Kayak Adventures, the business is very green and low impact. Director, Derek Hairon and his team are well qualified with a high environmental awareness, good networking, and a strong green marketing profile. The business has excellent green information for customers, including the website, along with good educational aspects on sustainability and community involvement/support. There is also a strong support of local heritage and culture.” Said GTBS assessor Paul Jeffries.
Our staff are often the first “locals” visitors have a chance to talk with; so during 2012 we enrolled staff in the Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge tour guide award to ensure they have an in-depth knowledge of not just kayaking but also the history of Jersey.