The Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) is the sustainable tourism certification scheme for the UK. Originally developed in partnership with VisitScotland, it is now the only national scheme to be independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland. The GTBS has been running since 1997 and with over 2000 members across the whole of the UK and Ireland, it is the largest and most established scheme of its type in the world.
The criteria assessed are extensive and rigourously checked. To get gold you need to score over 80% from more than 100 items in 8 main categories, along with some mandatory actions and at least one score in each category. And then potential gold candidates are referred to the GTBS board for quality checking.
Well we scored 92%! And we gather it is unusual, to say the least, for a first time member to receive gold.
A membership of only 2000 across the whole of the UK is pretty small when you think of it, but as sustainability becomes a more important issue for more people, the GTBS scheme is growing fast and we hope will be a strong part of how accommodation and tourist attractions are chosen. You can visit their website to find what businesses in your area, or where you are visiting, have the award.
Anyway - no medal ceremony for us - but we will get a plaque and we will be proudly displaying that!