26th March 2024

How your guests choose to arrive and how they get around whilst on holiday matters. The most significant contributor to the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions is transport.

Visitors are more conscious than ever of their carbon footprint. Helping them to reduce their impact will enhance your business reputation. You’ll also be reducing carbon emissions and improving local air quality which benefits everyone in our communities. Plus, less carbon intensive, more active travel methods can often be a much more enjoyable way to experience Hertfordshire and the local countryside.

As a business, there are steps you can take to help encourage and promote lower carbon transport. Here are some tips on what you can do to help visitors:

  • Trains

    We know that train travel is a more environmentally friendly form of transport. However, it’s not always easy to connect from train stations to the final destination. In light of this ‘final mile’, think about how you can make it as easy as possible for your guests. Consider offering a station pick-up service. Include timings and information about train routes on your website to help visitors switch from car to train.

    You might also consider offering other incentives to encourage people to arrive by train. For example, a complimentary breakfast or ‘welcome’ hamper, money off their stay, or a partnership or promotion with a nearby local attraction. Incorporating your initiatives into your marketing and highlighting the need for lower carbon transport choices can help encourage people to make the switch.

  • Buses

    As with train travel, providing visitors with clear online information about local bus routes and timings and bus stop locations can help them, even if they are travelling from within Hertfordshire.  Offer incentives and link-up offers with local attractions to reward those that are able to make the switch.

    The HertsLynx is Hertfordshire County Council’s Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service, offering a flexible way to travel by bus; unlike traditional bus services, the HertsLynx service doesn’t follow a timetable or have any set routes, instead passengers can choose from a wide variety of pick up and drop off locations within designated operating zones across Hertfordshire. 

  • Bikes

    Do you offer bikes or e-bikes to visitors for free or a small charge? Many holidaymakers welcome the opportunity to explore Hertfordshire’s countryside on two wheels. More active travel has many benefits from a health and well-being perspective too, which in itself is a rising trend for travellers in 2024.

    If you cannot offer bikes, connect with your nearest bike hire company and see if they may consider offering your guests a special discount, in return for you promoting their business on your website, for example.

    You can also encourage more active travel by providing maps and recommending local cycling routes. Signpost visitors to the Intalink website where you can plan your journey in Hertfordshire via public transport. CycleStreets is also a helpful resource for planning cycle routes. Finally, if people arrive by bike welcome them by having a safe, lockable bike shelter, which will give them extra peace of mind to bring them.

    Welcome those guests who wish to bring their own bikes by having a safe, lockable bike shelter.

    Once you’ve taken some of the steps above to become a more cycle-friendly business you should consider signing up for the Cycling UK Cycle Friendly Business. You’ll then be officially recognised as cycle friendly employer and business, making it even easier to attract cyclists.

  • Walking

    Encourage your guests to get active and walk as much as possible. Whether it be walking to a local restaurant or heading out for a day’s hike, Hertfordshire has so much to offer when explored on foot. Offering up-to-date maps and signposting to relevant websites such as Intalink as well as Hertfordshire Health Walks and Parks Herts can also help offer inspiration. Plus we have a number of features around walking in Hertfordshire such as Walking Trails in Herts and Winter walks in Hertfordshire.’

    From beautiful rolling hills to wooded valleys and steep chalk escarpments there is something for everyone at The Chilterns National Landscape - a nationally important area with so much to offer visitors, all year round. Make sure this location is signposted on your website as it could be a real draw for visitors looking to wander for a few hours – just remember to explore responsibly!

  • Employees

    Remember to also help those who help run your business - encourage your staff to use lower carbon travel methods to get to work, as well as offering remote working options too where possible as avoiding some face-to-face meetings can make all the difference. Initiatives such as the below help employees travel sustainably:

    • The Bike2Work scheme
    • Sustrans works with employers to reduce workplace travel and has resources and initiatives to help you.
    • Arriva offer discounts for employees when a business signs up to their travel club.
    • Herts Healthy Workplaces offers support to businesses who want to create a healthier environment for staff.
  • Flying

    Some visitors may be coming from overseas and want to reach you by plane. Aviation is a rapidly growing contributor to global emissions. If viable, you can encourage inbound visitors to travel overland to Hertfordshire. However, if they do choose to fly, encourage them to stay for longer so that more of the benefit reaches Hertfordshire’s community and nature. Other small steps such as flying economy class and flying direct can also help. Helpfully, Skyscanner has a search tool which allows travellers to search for the greenest flight option, showing which ones emit less CO2e than typical flights on your route.

Net Zero Business Support

Further information

Read more tips and information on how to become a more sustainable business in our Impacts Resources Hub.

If you’d like to showcase your business's impact on sustainability in Hertfordshire, sign up as one of our Impact Heroes.

If you have taken action to be more sustainable in your business, we’d love to hear more. Please get in touch with enquiries@visitherts.co.uk