Jersey Kayak Adventures win Jersey Enterprise Environmental Credentials Award
We have just been awarded the 2013 Jersey Enterprise Environmental Credentials Award sponsored by Jersey Electricity Company.
The awards night which was attended by over 600 people with 90 entrants.
We are just one of 4 Green Tourism Gold standard businesses in Jersey.
The judge’s commented:
“Jersey Kayak Adventures are ambassadors for the environment in which they operate. Their environmental credentials and sustainable business plan were fully endorsed last year when Jersey Kayak Adventures became only the fourth Jersey business to be awarded the UK’s Green Tourism Scheme Gold standard.”
Here is an edited synopsis of our ward winning entry which gives a little more insight into our eco-tourism and environmental approach.
Jersey Enterprise Environmental award. Jersey Kayak and Walk Adventures entry
We encourage eco-friendly transport by offering eco-discounts to clients who use the bus, walk or cycle to get to our venues.
Developed a supplier screening questionnaire to ensure we are using the most environmentally friendly suppliers when possible.
Staff pick up litter found on beaches/sea and encourage clients to assist.
Bird counts on north coast of Jersey. Organised Societe Jersiaise Marine Biology section overnight at Seymour tower to conduct research in Ramsar wetlands site. Our discovery of unusual bioluminescent creatures on the seabed is generating new research data and presents an exciting market opportunity.
Supported the Genuine Jersey Food Festival.
Introduction of an Oyster Trail, which culminates in tasting local oysters at Seymour Inn to encourage buying local seafood. Individuals, who otherwise wouldn’t buy oysters, are motivated to try local produce.
Edible seaweed walk developed for the Genuine Jersey Food Festival 2012/3 We linked up with local restaurants who are producing a seaweed themed menu.
Our Director Derek Hairon is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Business Forum.
Customer surveys reveal that for 53% of clients our Eco-awards are a factor when booking.
Changed design and contents of brochures to enhance longevity and reduce the disposal of costly brochures e.g. if prices or dates change each year. Use paper from sustainably managed forests.
Recycling of ink cartridges and use of recycled paper.
Discounted rates for schools and youth groups.
Jersey Kayak Adventures is the Seymour Tower guide trainer for Jersey Heritage Trust.
Water consumption in 2012 reduced.
Electricity kept to similar levels to 2011
Vehicles fuel costs held to similar levels in spite of fuel increases.
Regular meetings with staff and involvement in the development of operating procedures ensure that quality is maintained.
Rewarding staff commitment by funding further training e.g. first aid courses, Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge guide course.
Our instructors’ deep knowledge of local history and nature is regularly praised by clients.
We meet National Standards for our activities. British Canoe Union Approved centre, Adventuremark, Learning Outside the Classroom. Annual inspections by UK based national governing bodies (NGBs) ensure our processes meet current good practice and also enable us to learn of new ideas and developments.
We support staff to undertake further training e.g. Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge award and BCU Coaching qualifications. This has resulted in an increase in staff motivation and commitment.
People & Process
Apart from selecting and maintaining high quality equipment and the promotion of Jersey’s natural beauty, the quality of our staff is the key to our success. The company stands on good communication with our customers as well as within the company to guarantee best performance. Staff meetings at the beginning and end of the season take place and staff receive direct feed back during the season. Compliments are passed on to staff along with our customer service feedback survey.
We fund staff participation in conferences and courses, not only to keep their currant instructor qualification valid (British Canoe Union courses; First Aid; Wild Life Safe training).
New ideas for specialised walks were developed by staff, which generated increased income.
With customers leaving booking more and more to the last minute in 2012 we invested in an office manager to facilitate a more efficient customer service. The introduction of an online credit card payment system frees up staff time.
Product, Pricing and Marketing
New products developed/introduced/or planned in 2013:
Shorter taster style sunset paddles
Kayak fishing courses
Family kayaking tours
Special walks for families with young children,
Food walks with the focus on oysters and seaweed
Participation in the Jersey Food Festival
Guided fungi forays.
Oysters and seaweed walks combined with dinner events promote and support local businesses, e.g. members of Genuine Jersey, from where Jersey Walk Adventures now also receives marketing support. The food walks raised considerable media interest at a local, national and international level and helps to promote Jersey.
To add value to our products and attract new customers we invested in Wellington boots and neoprene aqua shoes. This service has created extra income stimulating the booking of walks in winter and at night with visitors and locals alike (who might have been deterred from booking because they lacked suitable footwear). Walks bookings have increased.
To break ground in the British kayaking market, director Derek Hairon writes for specialist kayaking magazines. Derek has co-authored the Channel Islands and SE England Sea Kayaking guide (published by Pesda Press late 2013).
New business opportunities off island: Links developed with a Finnish outdoor company to offer kayak courses in the shoulder months. Creation of an island walking program with a Swiss personal development and team building company.
Customer satisfaction is vital for the business, as in the small community of Jersey word of mouth is the best recommendation – proven by our annual customer survey.
Customer retention is assisted by post course kayaking trips at reduced rates. Our kayak club for our regulars also offers low cost Third Party Accident Insurance, so our kayakers comply with recent changes to Jersey Coastguard regulations for kayak registration and insurance.
German speaking staff are able to target the developing German market.
Video clip shown at the Jersey Enterprise awards event.