It was a very interesting conference with some very informative, inspiring and at times entertaining speakers (of which more on other blogs soon), but perhaps the climax of the conference was the award ceremony for the prestigious GoldStar awards for the very best green tourism businesses in the UK. Winners included big players like Wembley Stadium, but at the other end of the spectrum, in the self-catering category li'l ol' Gorge View Cottage came second out of the eight short-listed and was High Commended. Wow. Of course hat's off to David and Philippa at Banceithin cottages in West Wales who won the actual prize itself, but as complete newcomers to this business, just about 18 months from a green start ('green' as in 'inexperienced'), we were amazed and really pleased that what we do and care about passionately got recognised in this way.
It seems that along with the building materials and design, solar PV and rainwater harvesting, LED lighting and the other "headline" stuff, the more detailed issues (local provisions, eco-cleaning materials, ...) and the wider social efforts to promote and support green causes also helped.
Of course it doesn't stop here. The Green Tourism award scheme keeps slowly raising the bar of what is expected and we have a list of things to do to improve things, large and small. So watch this space.
Meanwhile we'll take a moment to enjoy the award.