“Come to Leitrim – It could change your life!” says Michael Harding in a beautiful new video launched today showcasing Leitrim as a place to visit, enjoy, explore and experience but also as an invigorating and vibrant place to live and work.
The video was created by Edwina Guckian of Dreoilín Productions along with artists Michael Harding, Eleanor Shanley, Seamus O Rourke and Charlie McGettigan who each share their thoughts and values of what makes this county such a treasure.
“The piece is a very honest, artistic response to our diverse county. Each of us involved are very passionate about our home and promote it across the world wherever we are performing. And it is when we are on the other side of the world we really feel the draw of Leitrim calling us home.” – Edwina Guckian
It’s not until you slow down and take the time to explore it that you really see Leitrim’s hidden treasures. The land, the water, the people, the communities, the towns and villages, the lilt of our language, the music, song and dance, the easy pace of life, the welcome; we tried to capture it all and show the world the wealth of what Leitrim gives us and how lucky we are to live here. What we have is very special. As Seamus O Rourke said, In Leitrim you’re allowed to breathe, and be the better for being yourself.”
“This video articulates the wonderful way of life in Leitrim; in nature, in landscape, in environment and people. It goes hard in hand with sustainable tourism which is one of the most important elements of our economy, supporting local employment, food producers, farmers and the hardworking Leitrim business owners. We want to share the message that Leitrim is a wonderful and safe place to visit, work and live.” – Joe Dolan of The Bush Hotel.
We are calling on the people of Leitrim, near and far and those that have visited us from across the world to share this video on their social media using the hashtag #EnjoyLeitrim
Are you interested in learning about bee friendly flowers you can grow at home, incredible food created from your own produce or taste how incredibly delicious & versatile snails are! Then get along to Bumblebee Flower Farms’ Open Day on the 16th August 2020.
Includes a tour, a talk with Mags, tastings of edible produce created by Eddie Attwell as well as more tastings and talk from Eva and Eoin from Gaelic Escargot. A lovely opportunity to share and meet like-minded folks in beautiful West Cork!
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!
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