A historic inn which was once torched by soldiers hunting Bonnie Prince Charlie has seen the light to become accredited as one of Scotland’s most environmentally friendly hotels.
The recent refurbishment of Lochaber’s Glenuig Inn, which dates back to the 18th century, has seen 21st century technology deployed to help conserve both the building and the planet for future generations.
Now the fruits of the three year revamp have seen the Glenuig Inn rewarded with a Gold award from the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS).
The Green Tourism Business Scheme is the leading sustainable tourism certification scheme in the UK honouring businesses that demonstrate high levels of commitment in protecting the environment and promoting sustainable tourism with bronze, silver and gold awards.
Award winners are scrutinised on more than 150 separate measures by qualified assessors before being appointed the relevant award, making it one of the most scrupulous green accreditation schemes in the world with around 2,300 members.
“The original stonework of the main building bears the marks of a remarkable history,” said Steve Macfarlane, Director of the Glenuig Inn.
“It still stands from 1746 when the English soldiers chasing Bonnie Prince Charlie, who escaped their pursuit from nearby Loch Nan Uamh, burnt it out, destroying its thatched roof and leaving only its outer shell which has been used through the generations since.
“It was right that we should preserve its place in local history and we have made a feature of the original stonework inside the inn.”
The inn now features solar panels to heat water and has been fitted with light tunnels to make greater use of daylight to illuminate rooms. Heat generated from cooling equipment is also recycled all of which has conspired to slash energy costs for the rural hotel by 75 per cent.
“Why throw away money and pump CO2 into the atmosphere? We’re creating an exemplar: our lighting system has 300 LED lights but uses less energy than three fluorescent tube lights.” said Mr Macfarlane. “It’s just good business and commercial sense.”
Tourism is predicted to be the world’s largest industry by 2030, representing 2billion international arrivals and an estimated 14% of world GDP.
Although it is estimated that only one per cent of tourists are ethically driven at the moment that figure is growing by 25 per cent a year. Although still a relatively low percentage the financial implications are huge.
“The management and staff at the Glenuig Inn have done a great job and we are delighted to have them on board. They’ve realised that sustainable tourism is becoming increasingly important,” said Andrea Nicholas, Director of the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
“We have to protect and preserve our natural resources without them there won’t be a tourism industry.”
For more information, or to arrange an interview with Andrea Nicholas of GTBS, please contact Peppercorn PR on 0845 217 8757.
For a full list of GTBS members in each of the UK regions or more information on the scheme visit www.green-business.co.uk