Businesses Drive Sustainable Tourism

A surge in the number of businesses participating in an environmental initiative in County Clare is transforming the development of sustainable tourism across the Burren region.

From a hotel harnessing all its electricity needs through hydropower to an artisan producer embracing sustainable farming practices, the 70 members of the Burren Ecotourism Network who are currently signed up for the Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism are actively monitoring and adapting their environmental performance, as well as helping to build sustainable communities.

Developed with EU LIFE funding, the Code is the only sustainable initiative of its kind in Ireland and in the network of 169 Geoparks spread across 44 countries. The initiative is being funded by Clare County Council and is third party verified by the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.

“Working with the Burren Ecotourism Network, we are raising the standard of sustainable practices among tourism businesses across the entire destination of the Geopark and across all types of businesses,” said Carol Gleeson, Manager of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, “The Code of Practice is actively developing a sustainable ethos and practices amongst a critical mass of tourism businesses in a destination.”

“The growing network of businesses signing up to the Code is reflective of Clare’s continued moves toward establishment as a truly sustainable destination and follows the recent announcement that the county has broken into the Top 40 of the Global Destination Sustainability Index, a sustainability benchmarking and performance improvement programme for destinations.”

She continued, “This success will also support the efforts of the recently established Clare Green Team, comprising tourism leaders from across the County, to achieve Ireland’s first Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) Destination Certification.”