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9 November 2023

Importance of Long-Term Approach for Sustainable Tourism in Wales and the UK


Roxy Robinson


From The Fields

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Some people might not realise that festivals and other seasonal events lasting even a few weeks often involve a year-round effort from the team behind it.

Planning for our light trail Christmas at Bute Park, the visitor experience we curate and welcome thousands of people to in Cardiff each winter, starts pretty much as soon as the current event has finished.

As an organisation creating music, arts and other UK festivals, our ambition is to reduce our carbon footprint across all the events we run.

At Christmas at Bute Park, all the installations, production and technical equipment, crew and artists involved are sourced as locally to Cardiff as possible. With more than 160,000 light sources and 22km of cabling involved, we draw approximately 400kW of energy, using a combination of diesel and 11,000 litres of renewable HVO fuel, while continually exploring the options for greener ways to power the event, such as batteries or mains (renewable) electricity.

We monitor energy usage continually and use linkable generators in higher demand areas so that we can bring generators online as required to reduce wastage. This also helps keep our consumption down during build and break periods.

When assigning a cleansing supplier, we always require all materials to be sorted and recycled appropriately. We incorporate ecologists, tree consultants and waterway specialists within our planning team, and stay in close contact with horticulturists and greenskeepers at Bute Park itself to ensure we’re working in harmony with its wildlife. Relationships with food and beverage suppliers are also key to maintaining and improving on our sustainability as an event too, for example, by making sure no single use plastics are used.

How our visitors travel to Christmas at Bute Park is also massively important. Being located in the city centre, we continually encourage our ticket holders to use the public transport available, both when ticketing information is sent to a customer and also via our website and social media channels too.

In short, our ambition is to improve the sustainability of Christmas at Bute Park wherever we can, analysing how our customers use the light trail year on year to ensure every area continues working efficiently and effectively in reducing waste.

But, why? As tourism operators, we’re looking to create great and memorable experiences, but we want to do this whilst protecting the ecosystem around us and affecting the natural habitat of the park as minimally as we can.

Customers across the event sector are also much more discerning in terms of wanting to make sustainable choices when spending their money, something we see increasingly reflected in the tickets they’re buying and the experiences they’re choosing to attend. Consumers want to see a commitment to reducing waste and the overall carbon footprint of any event ,

Achieving sustainability is far more than simply a moment in time, and all about the long-term.

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