Sustainable Tourism Charter

In 2010, the AONB Partnership and Shropshire Council commissioned a sustainable tourism strategy and action plan for the Shropshire Hills and Ludlow area. The Shropshire Hills AONB lies at the core of this area, but the strategy equally recognises the key role in tourism played by the market towns, both in terms of visitor interest in the destination and tourism facilities and services. The strategy is driven by the principles of sustainable tourism, which seek to balance economic, social and environmental goals now and in the future.

The Strategy was approved by the Shropshire Hills and Ludlow Destination Development Partnership (DDP), which oversees its implementation. (Progress updates are available on the DDP web page).

The Strategy formed the basis of the successful application by the Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership to gain the European Charter for Sustainable Tourism in Protected Areas. Europarc Federation Sustainable Tourism Charter logoThis recognises the successful collaboration between the protected area organisation (the AONB Partnership) and the tourism industry in the area to pursue a sustainable approach to tourism.

The development of the strategy was based on extensive consultation over four months, including desk research, an online survey of tourism enterprises, five local consultation meetings, one-to-one consultation with over 40 key stakeholders, site visits, a stakeholder workshop and comments received on an interim report. The Strategy and Action Plan produced by the consultants was made public for a 3 month consultation period, before formal approval on 15th September 2011 by the DDP.

  • Click here to download a 7-page summary of the Strategy
  • Click here to download the full Strategy and Action Plan

Guiding principles of the Strategy

  • ·    Building an integrated destination, linking the towns and the hills (AONB)
  • ·    Ensuring effective partnership working between stakeholders at all levels
  • ·    Growing tourism spending year round and throughout the area
  • ·    Bringing out opportunities to enjoy the area’s special qualities and distinctiveness
  • ·    Being ambitious about the sustainable aspects of tourism
  • ·    Providing a quality experience for all visitors

Strategic objectives from the Strategy

  • .    Raising awareness
  • .    Delivering the hills experience
  • .    Delivering the market towns experience
  • .    Delivering the local food experience
  • .    Orientating and informing visitors
  • .    Promoting sustainable access and management
  • .    Supporting local enterprise

For further information contact Phil Holden on