Accommodation providers, visitor attractions and events venues across England, Scotland, Wales , Northern Ireland and Canada were included in the annual event to celebrate those businesses and organisations that have done the most to promote sustainability within the tourism industry.
More than 4,400 eligible entries were whittled down by a panel of judges to a short list of just 60 contenders vying for one of 15 categories.
A total of 18 businesses were Highly Commended and 19 others were presented with a coveted Goldstar Award at a special ceremony held in the Palace Hotel, Manchester as part of the Green Tourism annual conference.
For the first time a new category for Green Tourism members in Canada was included in the Awards, along with an additional honour, called ‘The Extra Sausage Award’, presented to the person who has gone the extra distance to help promote sustainability within the industry and to consumers.
Now in its fourth year, the annual awards celebrate those businesses and organisations that have done the most to promote sustainability within the tourism industry by implementing cost-saving practices that help the environment, improve customer services and benefit the bottom line.
Andrea Nicholas, Director of Green Tourism, said: “The Goldstar Awards are a recognition of the best of the best when it comes to creating and maintaining a thriving sustainable tourism industry.
“The standard was exceptionally high. Just being shortlisted as finalist is a clear indication of just how dedicated and committed these businesses are in providing consumers with great service and value for money while at the same time championing the cause of sustainability.”
Green Tourism has been at the forefront of highlighting the importance of protecting environments, respecting local cultures, supporting communities, conserving natural resources and minimising pollution around the world for more than 17 years.
It is now the largest, and most rigorous, of its kind in the world and is the only certification programme independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.
The winners of the Goldstar Awards 2017 were:
Best Activity Centre / Provider
Goldstar winner: Blancathra Field Studies Centre, Keswick, Cumbria Goldstar winner: Surf South West, Croyde, Devon
Highly Commended: Newlands Adventure Centre, Keswick, Cumbria
Best B&B; / Guest House
Goldstar winner: The Rumblie, Newtonmore, Inverness-shire
Highly Commended: Bryn Bella Guest House, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy
Best Campus Accommodation
Goldstar winner: Storm Jameson Court – East & West, Leeds, West Yorkshire.
Highly Commended: Agnes Blackadder Hall, St. Andrews, Fife.
Best Conference / Events Venue
Goldstar winner: Create Environment Centre, Bristol, Avon
Highly Commended: IET Glasgow: Teacher Building, Glasgow, Strathclyde
Best Holiday Park / Camping site
Goldstar winner: Dolbeare Park, Saltash, Cornwall
Highly Commended: Jollydays Glamping, York, North Yorkshire
Goldstar winner: New Ing Lodge, Shap, Cumbria
Highly Commended: Iona Hostel, Lagandorain, isle of Iona
Goldstar winner: City Hotel, Derry, Londonderry
Highly Commended: Bedruthan Hotel & Spa, Newquay, Cornwall, and Lancaster London, London,
Best Inn / Pub
Goldstar winner: The Miners Arms, Alston, Cumbria
Highly Commended: Stein Inn, Waternish, Isle of Skye
Gold Star winner: Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, Telford, Shropshire
Highly Commended: Horniman Museum & Gardens, London
Best Nature Reserve
Goldstar winner: RSPB Loch Leven, Kinross, Perthshire
Highly Commended: WWT Welney, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire
Goldstar winners: Hoe Grange Holidays, Matlock, Derbyshire and Merlin Farm Eco Cottages, Newquay, Cornwall
Highly Commended: Cranmer Country Cottages, Fakenham, Norfolk and Higher Wiscombe Ltd, Colyton, Devon
Best Tour Operator
Goldstar winner: C-N-DO Scotland Ltd, Stirling, Stirlingshire
Highly Commended: Sea Life Surveys, Tobermory, Isle of Mull
Goldstar winner: Sealife Glass Bottom Boat, Gairloch, Ross-shire
Highly Commended: Ullswater Steamers, Glenridding, Cumbria
Green Tourism Canada
Goldstar winner: Bluewater Adventures, North Vancouver, BC.
Highly Commended: Maple Leaf Adventures, Central Victoria, BC.
People’s Choice Award
Bryn Bella Guest House, Betws-y-Coed, Conwy
The Extra Sausage Award
Alistair Handyside of Higher Wiscombe Ltd, Colyton, Devon