Everyone knows that fuel prices are soaring. We took a delivery of 1,000 litres of fuel for the boat yesterday. The price per litre was 0.91 euros, compared with 0.64 euros the last time that we filled. “This” you may say “is catastrophic, you will have to put your prices up, or end up making a loss”.
Not really. Although we do not welcome price rises, we have to think of the big picture. Because we have a large, slow-revving engine, and because we travel slowly on the canals, our fuel burn is quite small. Even including the central heating system and the on-board generator, that delivery of fuel will see us through until the middle of the season.
As a percentage of our total costs, fuel is well down the list. It is an interesting fact that we spend about ten times more on wines for our guests than we do on fuel for the boat!! (This also reflects on how seriously we take our purchasing of the quality wines we carry on the Saint Louis)
There are various definitions for “Eco-Tourism”, none of which are universally agreed. In general, though, Eco-Tourism can be applied to a tourist enterprise that operates in sympathy with the surrounding countryside, with no negative impact on the natural wildlife and plant life, leaving nature unchanged by the presence of the enterprise, with respect for the environment and with efficient use of Fossil Fuels. The Saint Louis certainly operates in the category of Eco Tourism.