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International responsible tourism award for authority

This is an archived press release

Monday 17 November 2008

14 November 2008

International responsible tourism award for authority

Photo caption: Environmental Quality Mark project officer Faith Johnson and Councillor Irene Ratcliffe, deputy chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, with the Responsible Tourism Awards certificate.
A project run by the Peak District National Park Authority to promote and support environmentally friendly businesses has won a top international tourism award.

The Peak District Environmental Quality Mark was highly commended in the Best for Conservation of Endangered Species or Protected Area category of the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2008 in London.

The Environmental Quality Mark (EQM) is given to businesses that can show they achieve high standards of care for the Peak District environment, which in turn benefits tourism.

Currently 32 farming businesses and 44 Peak District food, drink, arts and craft producers, cafes, restaurants and holiday accommodation providers have the EQM award.

Councillor Irene Ratcliffe, deputy chair of the Peak District National Park Authority, said: “To receive a highly commended award in a competition against organisations from across the world is an amazing achievement.

“It shows that the work being done by our Environmental Quality Mark team and, more importantly, the businesses themselves, is of international importance and deserves to be celebrated.

“I hope this award will encourage more people in the Peak District to recognise the financial benefits they can get from running their businesses in a way that protects and enhances the national park.”

The EQM was in the final against an ecological refuge in Brazil and a turtle conservation project in Sri Lanka. The first prize in the category was won by the Gamewatchers Safaris and Porini Camps in Kenya for their low-impact safari experience tourism tours.

In giving a highly commended award to the EQM scheme the judging panel said: “The Peak District National Park Authority has engaged farmers in tourism, encouraging them to network and learn from each other.

“It has established the Environmental Quality Mark which recognises those farmers who have made a contribution to the conservation of habitat and species. It is a marketing scheme that makes a difference.”

Further details about the EQM scheme can be found by visiting www.peakdistrict.gov.uk/eqm or contacting Faith Johnson on 01629 816321.

This is an archived press release

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