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Tourism industry needs to get green

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The tourism industry must be “more environmentally responsible” if it is to secure its future and help combat climate change according to tourism minister Barbara Follett. Speaking as she launched the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s (DCMS) new sustainable tourism framework for England at the Best of Britain and Ireland Show in London  said  “All of us must try to behave in a more environmentally responsible way and the tourism industry is no exception. If we value the future of our world and if we want to protect our country’s unique tourism offer for future generations, we must take sustainability seriously and not see it just as an add-on luxury. “There are already many businesses doing exemplary work in this area but more must to do so and soon. We have to challenge our thinking about what is on offer and how businesses are run. This will not be easy in difficult economic times, but a sustainable approach can be good for business too. The DCMS initiatives include minimising environmental impact and resource use by cutting waste, energy consumption and water use and recycling more as well as improving buildings. Another is to tackle the impact of tourism transport. The government says in 2007, 75% of holiday trips were by car compared to 19% by public transport. It wants the industry to use more target advertising and special offers along with increased environmental awareness to cut reliance on certain transport forms. The government says it will be monitoring industry progress regularly with a formal review in three years time. Tourism is fifth largest industry in Britain and domestic tourism alone is reportedly worth £114 billion and represents 8.2% of the nation’s economy.