Jones Harris Director Martin Wigley spent a very interesting day at Blackburn Rovers Football Club, judging at Lancashire Tourism Awards.
Regular readers of our news pages will know that we are sponsoring the Sustainable Tourism category at this year’s Marketing Lancashire Tourism Awards. Martin was part of the team which interviewed shortlisted applicants in the Self Catering, Guest Accommodation and Sustainable Tourism categories.
Touring the County – Judging at Lancashire Tourism Awards
For the judging at Lancashire Tourism Awards, each business made a ten minute presentation, followed by a ten minute question and answer session. As you would expect, all spoke with enthusiasm and passion about their achievements and plans. It was an interesting tour of the county’s finest tourism businesses.
Judging the ‘Self Catering’ category, which includes caravan parks, was an interesting insight into the different and contrasting aspects of running this kind of business. Similarly, ‘Guest Accommodation’ included businesses as diverse as ‘Spa of the Year’, and a small pub which is diversifying into glamping.
Perhaps the most surprising category was the one which we are sponsoring, the ‘Sustainable Tourism’ one. You might expect that businesses which claim to excel in this area are doing it to be ‘trendy’ and fit in with the ‘green’ bandwagon. However, it’s abundantly clear and quite striking that, for all of the interviewed applicants, being sustainable is embedded in the way the business operates, and delivers economic benefit.
The Economic Benefits of Being Sustainable
That’s something that we can identify with here at Jones Harris, as similarly, we operate a paperless office. A number of years ago we began the transition to computer files and away from paper. The driver for it was to streamline our office processes and job flow, and continuously improve the service which we provide to clients.
There have been many other benefits. Our staff perform more efficiently. We have significantly reduced our spend on copier paper, printer toner and office consumables. We don’t need to spend as much on printer hardware and photocopiers. That in turn has improved our use of electricity and reduced our carbon footprint. As you can imagine, we previously had an enormous amount of stored paperwork and files – so have been able to free up the storage space which they needed.
Going back to the entrants in the Sustainability Award category, they all identified that being kinder to the planet has an impact on their business profitability.
They are using cleaner energy, reducing waste, reducing the length of their supply chain and implementing better environmental measures. It’s also clear that there’s a demand for so called ‘Green Tourism’. The market is getting bigger and people are actively wanting it and seeking it out. It was heartening that this came out as a strong theme from all our interviewees.
Martin said “All of the entries were fantastic and it was very difficult to choose a winner. But choose we had to and all will be revealed on the night.”
Jones Harris – Specialists in the Tourism and Hospitality Sector
As you might know, Jones Harris has a long record of experience of working with many of the county’s best known hotels, guest houses, restaurants, caravan parks, garden centres, tourist attractions and more. For over 40 years we’ve helped Lancashire’s tourism and leisure businesses to thrive.
We take our role seriously as specialist accountants and business advisors to the tourism sector, and as such have gone through the professional development steps necessary to enable Jones Harris to become the only CAA-registered ATOL auditor in Lancashire.
The team are looking forward to the glittering awards evening on 9 November at Blackpool Tower Ballroom.
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