Developing Sustainable Ethos and Practices Among Tourism Businesses
working with our partners the Burren Ecotourism Network, we are looking to raise the standard of sustainable practices among tourism businesses across the entire destination of the Geopark and across all types of businesses. To achieve this we have developed the Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism. Developed under the GeoparkLIFE Tourism for Conservation programme, the purpose of the Code of Practice is to develop a sustainable ethos and practices amongst a critical mass of tourism businesses in a destination.
The Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism
The Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism and its supporting training and mentoring programme is essentially a framework that will allow businesses in a destination to come together to build a sustainable tourism offering, the framework also allows each business that engages in the code to develop an environmental action plan.
The Geopark believes that the sustainability of the businesses within a destination along with the sustainability of products and experiences they offer are contribute hugely to the sustainability of the destination as a whole. Through a partnership with the Burren Ecotourism Network, we are working to establish the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark as a premier internationally-recognised sustainable tourism destination.
How it Began
The partnership of the Geopark and the Burren Ecotourism Network has piloted a number of ecotourism certification programmes since 2008 to strengthen the capability of enterprises in the network in the areas of: use of natural resources, resource efficiency, use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, waster reduction and carbon footprint reduction. The outcome of the pilots lead to the development of a Burren specific code of practice for sustainable tourism which is a common set of core principles that can be adopted by all businesses in the Geopark irrespective of size and activity. What we are seeking to achieve is unique in terms of raising standards across an entire destination and across a full spectrum of providers.
The Code of Practice includes 6 key areas of good practice that must be achieved by each member of the Burren Ecotourism Network and also those businesses looking to join the network. The training programme is highly practical providing enterprises with the tools to establish baseline information and benchmark standards in the areas of energy, water, waste-water and waste management. The Code of Practice training programme also includes modules on interpretation, visitor communication, sustainable transport and conservation. At the end of the training programme each business is equipped with the necessary guidelines, templates and resources to draft an environmental policy that is appropriate to their own business and on reaching the code each businesses will have crafted an environmental action plan.
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