A TAMAR Valley organisation has scooped a green award for their hard work in promoting sustainable tourism.

The team at Visit Tamar Valley, a destination marketing organisation, has received a Bronze Award accreditation from Green Tourism in recognition of their work to uphold and promote sustainable processes and practices in tourism in the Tamar Valley.

The Green Tourism award recognises and supports eco-friendly achievements to promote a greener and cleaner environment for people, places and the planet.

Sarah Bartlett from Visit Tamar Valley, expressed her delight that the team’s hard work had paid off.

Sarah said:‘It’s not something that you can just join. The assessment that they carried out was very lengthy.

‘It took a lot of work to get the bronze award and we’re absolutely delighted.

‘Our focus is promoting the Tamar Valley, increasing visitor numbers and feeding into the rural economy.

‘We want to make a positive impact on the local community.’

The organisation promotes sustainable business practices within the industry locally, supports and promotes sustainable initiatives locally and encourages sustainable tourism practices by visitors.

The team are currently delivering the Tamara Scheme’s ‘Come Visit Stay Awhile’ project which aims to support local enterprises and increase sustainable tourism in the Tamar Valley.

Sarah spoke of the importance of encouraging sustainable tourism in the area: ‘It’s so important to focus on sustainability.

‘The Tamar Valley is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and outside of designated areas, the landscape is largely unspoilt and beautiful.

‘We encourage people to be mindful and sustainable travellers to minimise the impact on the environment and local communities.

‘We have to balance attracting people to the area but also thinking about the impact on the landscape. That’s driven our focus on promoting sustainable tourism practices. By leading by example we can now forward on the knowledge base that will to become sustainable to our member businesses.’

The hard work is not over for the team which is striving forward in the hope of achieving the ‘gold’ award.

‘Achieving the bronze is the first step in a huge undertaking’, said Sarah.

‘It’s great to have the award, but it personifies the scale of the journey we’ve got ahead of us.’