Jersey Kayak Adventures

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Jersey Kayak Adventures win Jersey Enterprise Environmental Credentials Award

June 8th, 2013
Jersey Enterprise awards 2013

Derek and Trudie collecting the Jersey Enterprise Environmental award

We have just been awarded the 2013 Jersey Enterprise Environmental Credentials Award sponsored by Jersey Electricity Company.

The awards night which was attended by over 600 people with 90 entrants.

We are just one of 4 Green Tourism Gold standard businesses in Jersey.

The judge’s commented:

“Jersey Kayak Adventures are ambassadors for the environment in which they operate. Their environmental credentials and sustainable business plan were fully endorsed last year when Jersey Kayak Adventures became only the fourth Jersey business to be awarded the UK’s Green Tourism Scheme Gold standard.”

Here is an edited synopsis of our ward winning entry which gives a little more insight into our eco-tourism and environmental approach.

Jersey Enterprise Environmental award. Jersey Kayak and Walk Adventures entry

Environmental Excellence

GTBS logoJersey Kayak Adventures was awarded Green Tourism Business Scheme GOLD in 2012.

We encourage eco-friendly transport by offering eco-discounts to clients who use the bus, walk or cycle to get to our venues.

Developed a supplier screening questionnaire to ensure we are using the most environmentally friendly suppliers when possible.

Staff pick up litter found on beaches/sea and encourage clients to assist.

Bird counts on north coast of Jersey. Organised Societe Jersiaise Marine Biology section overnight at Seymour tower to conduct research in Ramsar wetlands site. Our discovery of unusual bioluminescent creatures on the seabed is generating new research data and presents an exciting market opportunity.

Jersey enterprise award winners logo 2013

Jersey Enterprise Environmental Award winners 2013

Supported the Genuine Jersey Food Festival.

Introduction of an Oyster Trail, which culminates in tasting local oysters at Seymour Inn to encourage buying local seafood. Individuals, who otherwise wouldn’t buy oysters, are motivated to try local produce.

Edible seaweed walk developed for the Genuine Jersey Food Festival 2012/3 We linked up with local restaurants who are producing a seaweed themed menu.

Our Director Derek Hairon is a member of the Chamber of Commerce Sustainable Business Forum.

Customer surveys reveal that for 53% of clients our Eco-awards are a factor when booking.

Changed design and contents of brochures to enhance longevity and reduce the disposal of costly brochures e.g. if prices or dates change each year. Use paper from sustainably managed forests.

Recycling of ink cartridges and use of recycled paper.

Jersey Kayak Adventures. Winner of the Jersey Enterprise Environment award for Eco and Green Tourism in Jersey. 2013Participated in Jersey College for Girls School Eco Day. Produced games and competitions for the children to learn about the local marine ecosystem.

Discounted rates for schools and youth groups.

Jersey Kayak Adventures is the Seymour Tower guide trainer for Jersey Heritage Trust.

Water consumption in 2012 reduced.

Electricity kept to similar levels to 2011

Vehicles fuel costs held to similar levels in spite of fuel increases.

Leadership

Regular meetings with staff and involvement in the development of operating procedures ensure that quality is maintained.

Rewarding staff commitment by funding further training e.g. first aid courses, Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge guide course.

Our instructors’ deep knowledge of local history and nature is regularly praised by clients.

Strategy

We meet National Standards for our activities. British Canoe Union Approved centre, Adventuremark, Learning Outside the Classroom. Annual inspections by UK based national governing bodies (NGBs) ensure our processes meet current good practice and also enable us to learn of new ideas and developments.

We support staff to undertake further training e.g. Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge award and BCU Coaching qualifications. This has resulted in an increase in staff motivation and commitment.

People & Process

Apart from selecting and maintaining high quality equipment and the promotion of Jersey’s natural beauty, the quality of our staff is the key to our success. The company stands on good communication with our customers as well as within the company to guarantee best performance. Staff meetings at the beginning and end of the season take place and staff receive direct feed back during the season. Compliments are passed on to staff along with our customer service feedback survey.

We fund staff participation in conferences and courses, not only to keep their currant instructor qualification valid (British Canoe Union courses; First Aid; Wild Life Safe training).

New ideas for specialised walks were developed by staff, which generated increased income.

With customers leaving booking more and more to the last minute in 2012 we invested in an office manager to facilitate a more efficient customer service. The introduction of an online credit card payment system frees up staff time.

Product, Pricing and Marketing

New products developed/introduced/or planned in 2013:
Shorter taster style sunset paddles
Kayak fishing courses
Family kayaking tours
Special walks for families with young children,
Food walks with the focus on oysters and seaweed
Participation in the Jersey Food Festival
Guided fungi forays.

Oysters and seaweed walks combined with dinner events promote and support local businesses, e.g. members of Genuine Jersey, from where Jersey Walk Adventures now also receives marketing support. The food walks raised considerable media interest at a local, national and international level and helps to promote Jersey.

To add value to our products and attract new customers we invested in Wellington boots and neoprene aqua shoes. This service has created extra income stimulating the booking of walks in winter and at night with visitors and locals alike (who might have been deterred from booking because they lacked suitable footwear). Walks bookings have increased.

To break ground in the British kayaking market, director Derek Hairon writes for specialist kayaking magazines. Derek has co-authored the Channel Islands and SE England Sea Kayaking guide (published by Pesda Press late 2013).

New business opportunities off island: Links developed with a Finnish outdoor company to offer kayak courses in the shoulder months. Creation of an island walking program with a Swiss personal development and team building company.

Customer Focus

Customer satisfaction is vital for the business, as in the small community of Jersey word of mouth is the best recommendation – proven by our annual customer survey.

Customer retention is assisted by post course kayaking trips at reduced rates. Our kayak club for our regulars also offers low cost Third Party Accident Insurance, so our kayakers comply with recent changes to Jersey Coastguard regulations for kayak registration and insurance.

German speaking staff are able to target the developing German market.

Video clip shown at the Jersey Enterprise awards event.

Derek Hairon

Sea kayaking in Jersey. Reconciling Conservation and Recreation – Video

April 4th, 2013

I’ve uploaded this informative video because it gives some very useful information about observing wildlife from a sea kayak around the coast.

The video is about the marine sea kayaking code in Wales. This gives lots of useful advice when observing wildlife from a sea kayak. There are also a few safety tips as well as guidance and dates when sea birds and marine mammals are breeding.

For those of us who sea kayak in Jersey there may be some variations in the breeding dates. However, it is surprising just how many of the species mentioned in the video can be seen in Jersey waters.

Though some species are less common in the Channel Islands most of the advice is very useful when paddling around the coast of Jersey, the Channel Islands and UK.

The Jersey Marine and Coastal Wildlife Watching Code and other Jersey wild life guidelines is on our Sea Kayaking in Jersey – A guide to good environmental Practice page.

Produced by: Pembrokeshire outdoor charter.

Eco Gold awarded to Jersey Kayak Adventures by Green Tourism Business scheme

August 15th, 2012

GTBS logoSea kayaking is a superb adventure sport to experience the beauty of Jersey’s coastline and observe wildlife . It is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the environment and Green issues in Jersey.

Jersey Kayak Adventures has gone further by gaining the Green Tourism Business Scheme (GTBS) Gold award and, is just one of five tourism related businesses in the Channel Islands to reach the Gold standard.

The Green Tourism Business Scheme is the most successful environmental accreditation scheme for tourism businesses of its type in the world, with approximately 2,500 members in the UK. Originally developed in 1997, the scheme assesses tourism businesses across of a range of measures (including energy, waste, water, purchasing, transport, communication etc.) with three levels of award: Gold, Silver or Bronze.

Kayak adventures in jersey to explore geology

Guided tours to explore the coastal Geology of Jersey

For a small company like ours meeting Green Tourism Business Gold standards may seem like yet another distraction from the daily task of running a business. In a recession some might argue that Eco credentials are considered less important by consumers.

Yet, when we looked at customer feedback we discovered that Green awards were a positive factor influencing bookings. Many customers reported that Eco awards encouraged them to book a sea kayak tour or course in Jersey.

We were assessed on a range of environmental indicators and customer service. A few of our approaches scored highly:

  • Offering a discount to clients if they use public transport, cycle or walk to launching points.
  • Collecting sea junk by kayak

    Try not to get carried away collecting sea junk

    Encouraging staff and clients to pick up discarded and old bits of fishing gear from remote beaches. Some clients have even treated this as a competition to see who can bring back the most detritus. The current record is a large wooded cable drum which ended up being recycled into a coffee table.

In the case of Jersey Kayak Adventures, the business is very green and low impact. Director, Derek Hairon and his team are well qualified with a high environmental awareness, good networking, and a strong green marketing profile. The business has excellent green information for customers, including the website, along with good educational aspects on sustainability and community involvement/support. There is also a strong support of local heritage and culture.” Said GTBS assessor Paul Jeffries.

Exploring Jerseys history from the sea

Discover the maritime history of Jersey from the sea

Our staff are often the first “locals” visitors have a chance to talk with; so during 2012 we enrolled staff in the Jersey Tourism Bronze Badge tour guide award to ensure they have an in-depth knowledge of not just kayaking but also the history of Jersey.

 

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