International success for Cotswolds and sustainable tourism

Photo: @ShortTitle@

The Cotswolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) has received an international accolade for delivering and promoting sustainable tourism.

The prestigious European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas was presented at the annual EUROPARC Conference in Germany, attended by over 300 people from 20 countries. The Cotswolds was one of 11 parks and protected areas being awarded the Charter for the first time. A total of 89 out of 440 protected areas hold the charter in 35 European countries.

On receiving the award, Cotswolds Conservation Board Vice Chairman Liz Eyre said: "The European Charter is a huge accomplishment for the Cotswolds AONB. The award reflects the desire by all our partners to ensure that this very special area continues to prosper from tourism but without spoiling our main assets - the natural environment, landscape and tranquility."

Achieving Charter status involved the development of a 5-year Sustainable Tourism Strategy and Action Plan for the AONB, setting up a partnership with key stakeholders, and culminated in a 2-day visit to the AONB by a Europarc assessor in April.

The assessor commented favourably on a sound strategy, the enthusiasm of all partners concerned and the potential for the Cotswolds to build on its international brand and reputation as an excellent destination for walking.