eco tourism ireland

The Bigger Picture

What Happens When You Support EcoActiveEvents.com by advertising with or booking on our website?

I was working away online today and came across a few ‘green tech start up’ events that are coming up that interested me.

It got me to thinking about my own business – this website – and what it is I am trying to do with it. I sometimes think that maybe people don’t always see the bigger picture so I thought I’d try to explain what my vision is for EcoActiveEvents.com and see if it helped…

First I made an Infographic highlighting the main points both for people who advertise on my website and for customers who come here to find information and book events.. 🙂

infographic on what happens when you support Eco Active Events

So for me EcoActiveEvents is two things. (Apart from being a B2B & a B2C)

Firstly: Its My Passion…

Each time I sit down at my computer to work on EcoActive I get excited and a happiness and peace settles upon me – I can lose the day researching, connecting and discovering new people and places to visit.

Secondly: It’s my Legacy…

It’s how I want to live – growing my own food where possible, learning about bees, knowing what medicinal herbs are growing around me. Connecting, promoting and sharing these wonderful nature friendly events that are so unlike anything else. I want to inspire others to live a life less ordinary, to follow their passion, to discover new things, to nurture nature and to have the most wonderful life without harming the world we depend so much upon.

My Vision

My vision for EcoActiveEvents.com is for it to become the GLOBAL GO TO PLACE to discover eco friendly events happening near you, so that you can go and visit the incredible people sharing their crafts, skills, knowledge and passions and learn something that ignites your soul. All whilst having fun of course. Fun is very important. Especially these days. Discovering how incredible our world is and how incredible our bodies are is fun.

To do this I need the support of other small businesses – the people who are holding these events and I thank very much those who have been so supportive of me to date.

I have specifically created really affordable Membership packages so that start ups and small rural businesses can easily afford them and gain a real positive return on investment along with becoming part of a wider community.

I have plans for EcoActive to become a provider of support in other ways too – whether that be through investment / mentoring / sponsorship, small (barefoot) steps for now. (A new pair of shoes wouldn’t fit in my #TinyHouse anyway)… 😉

If you would like to join EcoActive you can check out our very affordable options here or if you would like to get in touch about sponsoring an ecotour or anything else just give me a shout on +353 83 805 4866 or email Play@EcoActiveEvents.com

Finding the G-spot in Ecotourism!

G is for Green.

Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle mainly due to a combination of rolling hills of green and the poem “When Erin First Rose” written by Belfast-born William Drennan in 1795.
Over the past decade Irish tourism has grown to factor in green credentials with emphasis on supporting local people and the environment in order to enable sustainable tourism as visitor numbers grow.
wild atlantic way sligo

Sustainable tourism is the concept of visiting a place as a tourist and trying to make only a positive impact on the environment, society and economy.

I find these eco friendly businesses  fascinating as they are often created in the starkest locations against all odds.
One example is the organic flower farm ‘BumbleBee Farm’ in beautiful West Cork which rests on top of a windy mountain yet produces delightful blooms of all colours for use in wedding bouquets.
bumblebee-farm organic flowers
Last year I travelled around the country meeting many of these eco entrepreneurs experiencing for myself the hard work and passion that each has poured into their particular endevour.
Many were an eye opener in recycling and sustainable living offering comfortable accommodation and an array of unique family fun activities throughout the year as well as workshops that utilise their natural environment.
I met Emma who adores (& rescues) rabbits, dogs and alpacas and welcomes visitors to enjoy a beautiful riverside walk and meet the alpacas.
waterfall-farm-alpacas
I noticed how much each eco related business in an area work together to promote one another- by providing locally produced food or services and suggesting one another to visitors. This community led attitude results in making their destination more attractive to visitors who can easily find all they wish to make for a memorable holiday.
wild-atlantic-way
This is widespread in Ballybunion Co Kerry with local guide Danny of EcotrekBallybunion taking us to meet Mike of the Bromore Cliffs along the WildAtlanticWay and of course along The Sheepshead Way also in West Cork which incidentally Graham Norton recently named as his ‘favourite place of 2015’ on his BBC radio 2 show.

Going Green doesn’t mean less luxury or facilities – in fact these green experiences give back so much more than they take – the G spot for your next break!  😉
If you’re considering a new take on life and are interested in creating an Eco business then check out this useful Failte Ireland Green-marketing-toolkit for top tips on getting started.

 

Congrats To Crann Og Eco Farm

Congratulations to Gold Certified Ecotourism Operator Crann Og Eco Farm

Well done to all at Crann Og Eco Farm who are celebrating their new Gold Certification!

We are excited to announce we have just been re-certified by Eco Tourism Ireland as a Gold Certified Ecotourism Operator as of July 2015. This is recognised by the The International Ecotourism Society.
This is a real achievement for us and comes after many years of hard work and creativity. Many thanks to Mary Mulvey and Lorraine Grainger of Eco Tourism Ireland for their encouragement and advice throughout the years.
We previously held Silver Certification for our Kids Eco Yoga Day from 2012 to 2014. This new higher certification encompasses all of our activities here at Crann Og Eco Farm and recognises our strong interpretive environmental ethos and reuse, recycling and reduce practices.
Gold Certification ensures our visitors ‘that green means green’. And we have a new website coming soon, so please stay tuned……
Many many thanks to all the friends and volunteers who have helped over the years to make Crann Og Eco Farm what it is today, we could not have done it without you all!
Marion and Flor
Gold-Certified-Crann-Og-Eco-Farm

Woodland Conservation Walk at Crann Og Eco Farm

A guided walk in the woods with ecological experts.

Woodland Conservation Walk“….A guided walk in the woods with ecological experts.

Learn the methodology and intricacies of developing an interpretive trail in an ecologically sensitive area.
Dr Cilian Roden, Gordon D’Arcy, Jack Roberts and Andrew St Ledger .
Venue:  Crann Og Eco Farm.
A guided walk in the woods with ecological experts.
 

EcoTourism Networking #RTD9

Responsible Tourism Conference 2015

Well Done To James Chilton and Howard Goodwin of ICRT.ie who held a very successful conference in Dublin for Responsible Tourism on Wednesday last. The variety and quality of speakers were second to none and the wealth of information vast!
I arrived at lunchtime as I had a prior engagement so the first speaker I saw was Caroline Warburton, National strategy delivery coordinator for The Scottish Tourism Alliance. She highlighted how tourists do not differentiate between providers of activities or accommodation when they are looking for things to do, they just want to know what there is to do and do it. Tourism is everyones’ business and the TS2020 initiative aims to bring all the seperate initiatives together under one common strategy. Whilst a work in progress Caroline confirmed that already there is a distinct change in the culture of tourism in Scotland with collaboration being key.
I also enjoyed Joanna Hayes‘ of ThisIsCavan.ie who spoke about how their Accessibility Initiative turned into a tourism initiative by chance as the benefits of raising awareness and providing better services attract a new market to the area. She pointed out that in many cases it is our attitude to disability more than anything that needs to change.
Rina Garrett of Errisbeo has whet my appetite for a visit to this Wild Atlantic hugging place with tales of Corncrakes, Trails and Arts to enjoy.
It was a day for the ladies as Siobhan Burke of Living The Sheep’s Head Way gave a rousing talk on how they focused on the collective advantage and cross promotion amongst themselves to create a place that people can enjoy for short breaks including a focus on foodie tours supported by the ‘Eating the Sheeps head Way’ book and much more besides.
The Sheep’s Head peninsula has been recognised as a European Destination of Excellence in recognition of the sustainable tourism on offer in this unspoilt part of the world.
Silva Dorang spoke on behalf of the Aviva Stadium who place strong importance on sustainability using rainwater systems, (the water from which is then used to irrigate the pitch)and waterless urinals for example! Silva confirmed that they saved over €1m in one year along from implementation of sustainable practices. Currently they are working with their local community – Sandymount Village , to create a ‘place to be’ community hub. Watch this space…
Dr Xavier Font had us all in stitches as he ran through some examples of ‘How To Sell‘ case studies. We now know that he is petrified of staying in a place with more than 5 recycling bins for fear of putting the wrong refuse into the wrong bin! 😉
He suggested that an eco tourism business, when preparing a sentence for copy, might focus less on promoting their sustainability practices and instead put what’s good for the customer at the start of the sentence and only end with how this was achieved sustainably (if at all). He likened the potential customers’ interest in a business’ sustainability practices akin to watching someone else’s wedding video… This caused some debate amongst the attendees yet is certainly worth consideration at the very least.
Collaboration and Story based trails were a recurring theme and no less so than with Martin Carey of the Mournes Heritage Trust who introduced us to the Trails and Tales available in the area including how they have created a Narnia walk (author C. S. Lewis apparently spent some time here), The fabulous Tollymore Forest, Stone Men trail and much more.
Cillian Murphy showed how ambition, collaboration and passion can create great things with the Loop Head Peninsula  (cool website by the way!) in Co Clare, explaining how they decided they needed to turn ‘The’ Wild Atlantic  Way’ into ‘Our’ Wild Atlantic Way!
Cillian cited the importance of differentiating between areas on The Wild Atlantic Way and the importance of involving the local communities so they feel part of it. Carefully collecting data and uploading every piece of information they collated they plan to create a widget that can perhaps be plugged into other sites including www.wildatlanticway.com
All in all it was a super day and the lunch sponsored by Failte Ireland was fabulous too. I shall definitely be going along next year!
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Responsible Tourism Awards Winners

Of course the 2015 Responsible Tourism Awards also took place on Wednesday evening and whilst I was unable to attend I could see on Twitter how exciting it was. The judges reasoning for their decisions can be found at /media/50639/irishrtawards2015_final_10.03.15.doc

Best Tour Operator for Responsible Tourism

  • GOLD:Connemara Wild Escapes (Co. Galway)
  • SILVER:Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal), Whale Watch West Cork (Co. Cork)

Best Small Hotel or Accommodation for Responsible Tourism

  • GOLD:Hotel Doolin (Co. Clare)
  • SILVER:Pure Camping (Co. Clare), Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat (Co. Leitrim), Tory Bush Cottages (Co. Down)

Best Transport Initiative for Responsible Tourism

  • GOLD:An Taisce Green Schools Travel and Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark Partnership (Co. Clare)
  • SILVER:Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal), Rock Farm Slane (Co. Meath)

Best in a Marine or Coastal Environment

  • GOLD:Dolphin Watch (Co. Clare)
  • SILVER:Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tours (Co. Kerry) and Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre & Nature Reserve (Co. Kerry)

Best Destination for Responsible Tourism

  • GOLD:Loop Head Peninsula (Co. Clare),
  • SILVER:Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark (Co. Clare), Sheep’s Head & Bantry Tourism Cooperative (Co. Cork), Mulranny, Co. Mayo (Co. Mayo)

Best Cultural Heritage Attraction

  • GOLD:Cnoc Suain (Co. Galway)
  • SILVER:Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange & Knowth) (Co. Meath), Mizen Head Signal Station & Visitor Centre (Co. Cork)

Best Local Food Initiative

  • GOLD:Archways B&B (Co. Wexford)
  • SILVER:Burren Smokehouse (Co. Clare), Orchard Acre Farm (Co. Fermanagh)

Best Adventure Activity Provider for Responsible Tourism

  • GOLD:Atlantic Sea Kayaking and Wild Atlantic Walks (Co. Cork)
  • SILVER:Life Adventure Centre (Co. Down), Boyne Valley Activities (Co. Meath)

Overall Winner: Atlantic Sea Kayaking and Wild Atlantic Walks (Co. Cork)

Congratulations to all winners!
 

Congrats to those Shortlisted!

Well done to all those Shortlisted, see you Wednesday – Roz

2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards Shortlist

The shortlist has been announced for first all-Ireland responsible tourism awards which attracted 450 nominations from across the island of Ireland. There are 8 categories with 3 or 4 businesses shortlisted for each award – designed to celebrate those making a difference. A winner in each category and an overall winner will be chosen from the shortlist in the next few days by judging panel composed of industry experts.
The award winners will be announced at the 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards on Wednesday 11th March 2015 at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

The award categories and the shortlisted businesses are:

  • Best Tour Operator for Responsible Tourism: Connemara Wild Escapes (Co. Galway), Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal), Whale Watch West Cork (Co. Cork)
  • Best Small Hotel or Accommodation for Responsible Tourism: Hotel Doolin (Co. Clare), Pure Camping (Co. Clare), Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat (Co. Leitrim), Tory Bush Cottages (Co. Down)
  • Best Transport Initiative for Responsible Tourism: An Taisce Green Schools Travel and Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark Partnership (Co. Clare), Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal), Rock Farm Slane (Co. Meath)
  • Best in a Marine or Coastal Environment: Dolphin Watch (Co. Clare), Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tours (Co. Kerry) and Tralee Bay Wetlands (Co. Kerry)
  • Best Destination for Responsible Tourism: Loop Head (Co. Clare), Burren Geopark (Co. Clare), Sheep’s Head (Co. Cork), Mulranny (Co. Mayo
  • Best Cultural Heritage Attraction: Brú na Bóinne Visitor Centre (Co. Meath), Mizen Head Signal Station & Visitor Centre (Co. Cork), Cnoc Suain (Co. Galway
  • Best Local Food Initiative: Archways B&B (Co. Wexford), Burren Smokehouse Ltd (Co. Clare), Orchard Acre Farm (Co. Fermanagh)
  • Best Adventure Activity Provider for Responsible Tourism: Atlantic Sea Kayaking and Wild Atlantic Walks (Co. Cork), Life Adventure Centre (Co. Down), Boyne Valley Activities (Co. Meath)
Book your place here
The conference will run from 9.15am to 6pm with the 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards taking place from 7-8.30pm following a drinks reception – stay for as little or as long as you like. If you can’t make the evening we will have details of the winners on our website after the event.
This full-day conference will offer insightful perspectives into ways we can achieve change in destinations, communities, businesses, visitors and consumers through a responsible tourism approach – including creating competitive marketing advantage, contributing to conservation, destination development, enhancing communities and more.

Leen Organics

Leen Organics & Eco Accommodation

Leen OrganicsLeen Organics is a fully organic smallholding in County Clare, Ireland, since 1997. Leen Organics also offer a unique eco holiday experience.
An Tí Glas is a fully restored 200 year old cottage. It is a unique place to relax and get away from the stress and strain of modern living. With peace and quiet, wholesome food, country walks and great comfort this is the place you are looking for.
Used as an exploring base the cottage is well situated for all the attractions Co Clare has to offer including:
• The Burren • Cliffs of Moher • Loop Head • Slieve Aughty mountains • Ailwee and Doolin caves • Whale & Dolphin Watching • Surfing in Lahinch • Bunratty Castle and Folk Park …all within an hour’s drive of the house.
Read our Eco Tour Blog Here >>
Tel: Jason and Noelle Horner
Noelle Mobile: +353 857056561
Or Jason Mobile: +353 876454120
Email: leenorganics@gmail.com
Web: www.leenorganics.com
Twitter: @leenorganics
Facebook/LeenOrganics



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Blueberry Hill Farm

Blueberry Hill Farm
Blueberry Hill FarmUnique hands on guided family farm, half day or short visit, experiencing the pleasures of farm-life as it used to be. Hand-milking, collecting eggs, making butter, feeding and caring for many different and cute animals and much more.
Blacksmithing Courses, Home Dairy, Wood Turning and many other courses are available over the year.
Killarney Road, Sneem Co. Kerry
Tel: 086 356 1150
Email info@blueberryhillfarm.ie
Web: www.blueberryhillfarm.ie
Facebook: Facebook.com/blueberryhillfarmsneem
Twitter: Twitter.com/ActivityFarm
Listen to our Audio chat with Sigi:

Read our EcoTour Blog of our visit to Blueberry Hill Farm Here >>

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Rathbeggan Lakes

Rathbeggan Lakes
Rathbeggan LakesAbseiling, Accommodation, Airsoft, Allotment Gardens & Shop with Fresh Produce, Apartment Accommodation, Art Barn, BBQ’s & Family Adventure Park
Tel:  01 8240197
Email: info@rathbegganlakes.com
Web: www.rathbegganlakes.com
Facebook: Facebook.com/rathbegganlakes
Twitter: Twitter.com/RathbegganLakes


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Boyne Valley Activities

Boyne Valley Activities 
Boyne Valley ActivitiesBoyne Valley Activities are a vibrant new activities company set on the banks of the River Boyne in Trim,Co Meath. We offer a wide range of activities that cater for the young and old. We  do everything from white water rafting to indoor paintball to medieval river tours and archery.
Check out our Blog with them on our EcoTour here >>
Tel: 086 7342585 – 086 7342586
Email: info@boynevalleyactivities.ie
Web: www.boynevalleyactivities.ie
Facebook: Facebook.com/pages/Boyne-Valley-Activities
Twitter: Twitter.com/BoyneActivity
Watch the boys on YouTube >>



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