Visit Inverness Loch Ness has won the prestigious Green Destinations ITB Earth Award. The international award, which recognises global leadership in sustainable tourism in the fight against climate change and environmental degradation, was awarded to the Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID) in a ceremony held at ITB Berlin 2023.
Visit Inverness Loch Ness was shortlisted in the environment and climate category for its story ‘A view from Nessie: Inverness Loch Ness’ Climate Action Plan’ which was selected for the 2022 Green Destinations Top 100 Stories list in September last year. The Green Destinations ITB Earth Award is a special award made at the discretion of the panel of international experts in sustainable tourism looking to recognise global pioneers combating climate change and environmental harm.
Albert Salman, President of Green Destinations said, “The Green Destinations Top 100 Stories competition generates an amazing collection of Good Practice Stories, covering many aspects of sustainable destination management and regeneration. These stories demonstrate that tourism can indeed be a force for positive change and bring tangible benefits to destinations, local people, and the environment.
“Especially in the current global climate emergency, the need to narrate projects that address climate change is crucial. In response, the ITB Earth Award category has been established to acknowledge destinations that fully pursue these sustainable and future-oriented strategies, recognising them as leading examples for other destinations and managers.
“I would like to offer my sincere congratulations to Inverness Loch Ness for winning this year’s ITB Earth Award. Their Story, “A view from Nessie: Inverness Loch Ness’ Climate Action Plan” (and project), fully embodies the award’s meaning, holistically tackling local climate issues and concerns, creating a robust plan, and actively engaging local stakeholders.”
Accepting the award for Visit Inverness Loch Ness, Michael Golding, CEO at Visit Inverness Loch Ness said, “To be recognised at the world’s biggest travel show as the leading global destination organisation for tackling the climate emergency is incredible, and a very proud moment for our team and board. We are committed to being a leader on this journey, working with our business members and stakeholders, to fulfil Scotland’s ambition to be leaders in 21st Century Tourism on the way to reaching net zero by 2045.”
Marc Crothall, Chief Executive at the Scottish Tourism Alliance said, “This is a truly remarkable, globally important accolade which highlights the strength of commitment of Visit Inverness Loch Ness and Scotland’s tourism industry in delivering our national strategic ambition to build responsible tourism for a sustainable future. Our industry vision, to be a world leader in 21st century tourism has propelled us through the challenges of recent years and we very much hope global destinations look towards Scotland as leading the way in sustainable tourism.”
Lord Thurso, Chairman of VisitScotland said, “This is a real coup for Visit Inverness Loch Ness as a destination but also for Scotland as a whole. My huge congratulations to everyone involved. Tackling climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing Scottish tourism and yet the transition to responsible tourism also presents opportunities for us all.
“We want to inspire future generations to say that Scottish tourism led the way to help preserve and enhance the natural and built assets that benefit communities, businesses and our visitors. Visit Inverness Loch Ness has worked hard on its climate action plan to ably demonstrate this to the panel of international experts. By working together, we can help Scotland become a world-class destination, and the best destination for responsible tourism.”
Funded as part of the Destination Net Zero programme and created with help from VisitScotland and the Travel Foundation, the Climate Action Plan helps the destination monitor, evaluate, and improve its environmental impact. The plan also shows how the destination will meet the five pathways of the Glasgow Declaration and showcases which of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are being met and which ones are being targeted.
In addition, the team from Visit Inverness Loch Ness were shortlisted in the environment and climate category for the Green Destinations Story Awards.
In the last six months,Visit Inverness Loch Ness has won UKinbound DMO of the Year, the RBS Climate Champion at the Highlands and Islands Tourism Awards and listed in the Green Destinations Top 100 Stories.
Visit Inverness Loch Ness’ journey to Berlin will be offset via its partnership with Trees for Life.
Click here to learn more about Visit Inverness Loch Ness.