VisitBritain has launched a new scheme aimed at helping hotels and attractions increase their green credentials.

Sustainable tourism project manager Jason Freezer said the decision to launch the scheme at the British Travel Trade Fair came about after a survey revealed as many as two thirds of tourism businesses in the UK admitted they need more guidance on how to go green.

Now the national tourism agency is hoping that the UK’s tourism businesses will sign up to an initial three-month pilot scheme while the first 500 to do so will be waived the £25 join-up fee.

Freezer said: “VisitBritian is committed to encouraging sustainable business. Green start is an initial step in helping more of our tourism businesses improve their existing practices and signal to visitors that they recognise the increasing importance and value of sustainable good practice.”

Those wanting to participate in the scheme need to visit where they will find an on-line self-assessment tool.

They will also be asked to meet a code of conduct, commit to four sustainability requirements and within two years work towards at least 23 good practices, ranging from using low-energy lighting to collecting rainwater, from a total menu of 50.