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Hilary Benn invites CoaST

Defra Secretary of State Hilary Benn MP invited the Cornwall Sustainable Tourism Project (CoaST) to discuss Sustainable Tourism in Cornwall.

Tourism - or the "visitor economy" - is a massive employer for the UK, the South West, and for Cornwall. It provides work for one in five Cornish inhabitants, and it's responsible for almost a quarter of the money the county makes each year. It's fair to say that not only do those of us who live and work here rely heavily on tourism, but that tourism itself relies almost entirely on its principal asset: the Cornish physical environment. Hence the importance of sustainable tourism.

Malcolm Bell, Director South West Tourism, opened the meeting with an introduction to tourism in Cornwall followed by a presentation from CoaST. Two of the CoaST Amabassadors, businesses with different objectives, at different stages of development, with different budgets, approaches and locations, Andrew Biss (Primrose Valley Hotel) and Suzie Newham (Bedruthan Steps Hotel) hightlighted the business case for sustainable tourism. An informal round the table discussions preceded two scene setting presentations. Issues discussed were funding for sustainable tourism, the visitor's carbon footprint, challenges for the marketing of Cornwall, waste and transport.

Hilary Benn, Environment Secretary of State, said:

"I was really impressed by the work CoaST is doing to publicise the importance of a more sustainable tourism industry. They are all about taking the principles of sustainability and turning them into practical ideas for business. CoaST is helping people have holidays which don't damage the planet."