For The Love Of Ireland

By Claire McCune - Tourism Ireland

We connected with Claire McCune from Tourism Ireland. We were aware of the strides they are taking in advising and influencing more sustainability behaviours for both visitor and travel trade across the Island of Ireland.

What is clear is the scale of the movement across the island by so many and the obvious demand by visitors to take part and travel more responsibly.

However, when you ask a question like ‘Tell us what Tourism Island is doing ‘For Good’… the answer falls somewhere between is ‘where do you start and where do you end?!’

Well, we did ask that question and we got a brilliant snapshot that takes us from Dublin to Killarney to County Gallway and beyond.

Claire begins in Dublin at the Inveagh Garden Hotel…

  • The Iveagh Garden Hotel in Dublin became Europe’s first sustainable hotel when it opened in 2018 and lots of others have followed suit including the Wren Hotel. Right across the island, hotels and other types of accommodation have embraced sustainability creating a range of choices for those seeking eco-friendly stays. Among them are the luxury Salthouse Eco lodges in County Antrim ,the Falls Hotel and Spa in County Clare and the award-winning Delphi Resort in County Mayo. Powerscourt Estate and Gardens in County Wicklow, was the first major visitor attraction on the island to be certified by Sustainable Travel Ireland as meeting globally accepted standards for sustainable tourism.
  • Killarney, County Kerry, one of Ireland’s premier visitor destinations, has become the first Irish town to ban single-use coffee cups. The initiative will prevent over a million disposable cups ending up in landfill every year. Likewise, the Wander Wild Festival, an outdoors festival in beautiful County Kerry, has introduced a free sustainable bus pass to and from the basecamp, a no single-use plastic policy, onsite recycling and food tours designed to showcase the best of local and seasonal produce ensuring a minimum carbon footprint journey from producer to plate.
  • Kylemore Abbey in County Galway also has its sights set on becoming a leader in sustainable tourism and recently announced that its neo-Gothic church and the estate’s fleet of shuttle buses will switch to HVO biofuel which will reduce emissions by up to 87%. The move follows extensive biodiversity work that is being carried out on the estate including removing invasive Rhododendron ponticum, planting over 200 native trees annually, and a research partnership with the University of Galway.
  • Among the key developments is the peatland rehabilitation project, currently the biggest nature conservation project in Europe. It is working to restore Ireland’s peatlands, exploited for fuel over hundreds of years, to their natural state. They will become absorbers of carbon dioxide helping to create a greener environment and become homes for rare and endangered flora and fauna.

If you’re the digital version of _FOR GOOD and have had a chance to click on the links and been on an inspiring journey around the island of Ireland. If you’re reading the hard copy version of the magazine, hop over for a moment to forgoodmagazine.com

A personal favourite here at _FOR GOOD and link that Claire also shared is WWOOFing in Ireland (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms). The name alone should make you want to discover more.

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