It is the second ‘ski related' business in France to receive the award, following the SEVABEL lift company which last year received the certification, an upgrade from its previous holding of a 9001 certificate. SEVABEL runs the ski area at St Martin de Belleville and Les Menuires.

The other holders of ISO 14001 certification in skiing are Aspen, Jackson Hole, Sun Peaks and Lech's lift companies.

Megève's tourist office operations have been reorganised to be more involved in environmental matters, more economically sound and to have the least possible impact on the environment.

"This is a great step forward for tourism in mountain regions and marks the beginning of a great adventure. However the "battle fields" are vast and there is no limit to our imagination. We have a lot of ideas and projects. There is so much, not only to think about but also to do...for many years to come." said a tourist office spokesperson.

"For two years now we have been working on implementing a responsible environmental approach in the framework of our tourism business. This approach involves the development of a different leisure consumption model, meaning greater involvement and awareness of visitors so they can become a responsible participant and citizen. Such a person is no longer content with meaningless leisure activities but becomes involved in an active and learning experience related to the environment visited. Responsible tourism cannot be developed without the involvement of our local partners, and we work with them so they can develop an offer which meets expectations of our visitors who are sensitive to the protection of our environment."

The tourist office has launched a website just on environmental issues at:
www.megeve-environnement.com

The new site has a vast amount of information in English and French and encourages anyone with ideas to submit them,

"For us this site is a tool for transparency and communication where anyone can express themselves and give their opinion of this approach. All comments and ideas are welcome!"

"If we all still want to ski in Megeve in 50 years from now, there is only one path to follow: "one world, one way"." said Beth Williams of Hotel le Gai Soleil.