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Our Commitment to Sustainable Tourism

We recognise that sustainable tourism must maximise the benefits and minimise the negative impacts caused by tourism on destinations in South East England. We aim to work with our members and destination partners to promote our destination's rich natural and cultural heritage, ensuring priority is given to preserving them for future generations to enjoy, ensuring they can experience them as we do today.

Tourism South East's (TSE) objective is to collaborate with our members, partner destinations, and industry stakeholders to responsibly promote the growth of the visitor economy in South East England through education and awareness and supporting visitors and businesses in their efforts to become more sustainable. 

We pledge to uphold the following principles in our work with our destination partners and tourism business members, as well as in our own organisational practices. Our commitment to sustainability is a journey that will take time, and progress will be monitored through our Sustainability Action Plan focusing on outputs until March 2027.  These commitments will take place within our physical business operations and through the tourism services we offer. 


Commitment to our Members

  • We will ensure that appropriate initiatives are incorporated into our membership programme to encourage, educate, and inspire members  at whatever stage they  may be on your their sustainability journey. We will provide signposts, education, and marketing support.

  • We will offer sustainability-specific networking opportunities to our members to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and experiences.

  • We will collaborate with destinations to understand the impact of tourism in their local areas, their local carbon-zero policies, and align our messaging with their priorities

  • We will work to enhance our partnerships and initiatives such as Green Tourism accreditations to benefit our membership.

Commitment to our potential visitors

  • We will responsibly communicate and celebrate the successes of sustainable tourism businesses across South East England. Through our marketing initiatives, we will educate, inform, and inspire potential visitors  about the sustainable options available in South East England, enabling them  to make the most informed choice. Over time, we will expand the depth of our information and improve access to sustainable information.

  • We will make it easy for visitors to find out more about sustainable modes of transportation to our destination, as well as cycling and walking options.

  • We will responsibly communicate and celebrate the sustainability efforts of meeting and event venues across the region to conference and event buyers, clearly identifying venues that strive to enhance their initiatives.

Commitment within our physical business operations

  • We will educate all staff on sustainability and climate change.

  • We will implement waste reduction and recycling initiatives programs to minimise the environmental impact of our business operations.

  • We will promote the use of reusable and eco-friendly products and reduce single-use plastics within our business operations where possible

  • We will work towards active engagement in reforestation and wildlife conservation initiatives to offset our carbon emissions from external business travel of our staff and our industry events.

  • We encourage a 'digital-first' approach to information provision among staff and with members where possible.

  • We request that staff always investigate and consider sustainable options when making purchases for business operations or events and review economic sustainability principles when making decisions on a project-by-project basis

  • We will calculate the reduction in our CO2 emission based on Staff working at home on agreed days which supports our endeavours to reduce our CO2 emissions.

  • A ‘sustainability working group’ will review our sustainability action plan twice a year and identify key metrics to measure success.

  • We will continually strive to improve our sustainability efforts by seeking feedback, implementing best practices, and adapting to changing circumstances.

  • We will be transparent about our sustainability efforts and share progress with our members.

  • We will establish mechanisms for accountability/measurability to ensure that our charter is upheld.

Commitment within our contract delivery

Sustainability of the project - Tourism South East takes sustainability and its impact on the environment seriously. As well as our own physical operations commitments (above), our approach to carbon reduction measures in the delivery of our contracts continue below:

  • Meetings will be conducted virtually where possible to lessen our carbon impacts.

  •  The carbon footprint of our fieldwork staff will be kept as low as possible with interviewers are recruited with their locality  and transport options in mind.

  • TSE provides training, support, signposting, and information for tourism businesses across the South East to work towards net zero and all contracts have access to the very latest resources to ensure that it is run in line with Climate Action Best Practice.

  • We are committed to working together to protect and enhance the unique qualities of our destinations and working with our members to operate and promote rewarding and responsible experiences for tourists. We invite all stakeholders to join us in this endeavour to make Tourism South East a model of sustainable tourism.

Updated May 2024

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