Lochranza Youth Hostel, which reopened in 2010 following a £0.5 million refurbishment, is one of 20 finalists selected from across the UK for the Green Tourism Business Goldstar Awards 2011.
SYHA Hostelling Scotland, the charity which owns Lochranza Youth Hostel and invested in a host of low carbon initiatives, is thrilled with the result.
The refurbishment has been praised for sympathetically retaining the historic building’s charm and character, while modernising its interiors and facilities for the ever widening hostelling market.
And while all SYHA Hostelling Scotland Youth Hostels are impressive on their eco-credentials, Lochranza has set a new benchmark with the installation of rain water harvesting, heat pumps and energy efficient lighting.
Furthermore, the environmentally aware ethos which is at the core of SYHA Hostelling Scotland ensures practises at Lochranza Youth Hostel include regular recycling, advising guests on local public transport and accommodating cyclists and walkers.
Steve Freear, Manager of Lochranza Youth Hostel, said: “With its endless beaches, wildlife and unspoilt nature, Arran is a wonderful island to explore and a great destination for sustainable travelling.
“Almost half of our guests arrive without a car, and it’s a joy to get around the island by foot, bike or using public transport.
“Of course, respect for the environment has been part of the ethos of hostelling long before the term ‘green’ was invented, so we continually promote and support recycling, waste minimisation and use of public transport in the youth hostel community.
“The refurbishment aimed to offer more choice and facilities to the modern traveller, and we have been delighted to welcome growing numbers of visitors including many families and couples hostelling for the first time.
“Feedback reveals guests value the eco-initiatives and the importance of travelling in a way that is sustainable, and the great thing is more people are discovering how friendly and fun hostel holidays can be.”
“Cost efficiencies achieved through green initiatives mean that the hostel is open at weekends during the winter months, which the energy efficient building makes possible, helping to sustain the local community during low season.”
The accolade places Lochranza Youth Hostel in the top 2% of the greenest businesses across the UK and Ireland.
Ten winners will be announced during Green Tourism Week on June 9th.
The awards event will form part of Green Tourism Week taking place June 6-12 2011, from the Green Tourism Business Scheme.
SYHA Hostelling Scotland is a registered charity dedicated to providing low cost, quality accommodation across Scotland. The charity is committed to promoting the social, environmental and educational benefits of hostelling to all, from families to retired people, couples to groups of friends.