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Burren Businesses honoured for commitment to Geopark Code of Practice

7 May 2024

60 businesses from across north Clare and south Galway have been given official recognition for their participation in an environmental initiative that is transforming the development of sustainable tourism across the Burren region.

Burren Businesses honoured for commitment to Geopark Code of Practice

Developed with EU LIFE funding and launched by the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark Code of Practice in 2016, the Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism is the only sustainable initiative of its kind in Ireland and in the network of 169 Geoparks spread across 44 countries. 

From a hotel harnessing all its electricity needs through hydropower to an artisan food producer embracing sustainable practices, the Code involves members of the Burren Ecotourism Network measuring and making reductions in environmental output as well as promoting local produce, conservation and taking part in community outreach and advocacy initiatives, networking events and green purchasing.

Speaking at the Falls Hotel in Ennistymon last night (Tuesday), Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council Cllr Joe Cooney praised the businesses in receipt of Certificates of Achievement for “committing to environmentally sustainable practices to help build thriving communities and secure future growth potential.”

“Local tourism operators have a proud and lengthy track record of adopting a sustainable approach to tourism development in the Burren,” he added. “No more is this evident than in the Burren where all types of businesses are raising the standard of sustainable practices across the entire destination of the Geopark.”

Carol Gleeson, Manager of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, commented, “The Code’s success has not been achieved overnight, but instead is the result of years of careful planning and building a consensus in the Burren that more can be achieved by businesses and organisations working together.”

She continued, “The businesses in receipt of certificates are a shining example for the rest of the country and are instrumental in ongoing efforts by the Clare Green Team to achieve Ireland’s first Global Sustainable Tourism Council Destination Certification.”

George Quinn, Chair of the Board of the Burren Ecotourism Network, said, “Working with the Geopark in rollout and promotion of the Code, the Burren region is making significant strides towards becoming a truly sustainable destination.”

He explained, “Every two years members of the Network submit evidence to the Geopark Code of Practice online system. They are then externally evaluated on their commitment to these standards. This shared commitment by Network members to implementing sustainable tourism practices has received national and international recognition as highlighted through recent award wins such as the Lonely Planet Community Award for Best in Travel 2021 and the green light award for sustainability in the Irish Independent's 2023 'Reader Travel Awards'.”

Deirdre O’Shea, Clare County Council’s Head of Tourism, said the resilience of the Burren’s tourism and hospitality sector has been strengthened by the sustainable approach adopted by local businesses.

Speaking in the context of the ongoing challenges facing the local tourism industry, including rising business costs, a shortage of available accommodation and an increasingly competitive international market, Ms O’Shea added, “The journey towards sustainability often begins with small steps taken by individuals, communities, and businesses. The Burren has long shone the light for others to follow and I think this will stand to the sector in the months and years ahead.”

Jarlath O’Dwyer, CEO of the Burren Ecotourism Network, said, “The businesses of the network make a significant effort to work together through the Code of Practice, implementing a range of social, environmental, and economic actions that benefit the environment, local communities and visitors.  As a destination-based hospitality group, we look forward to businesses of all types and sizes continuing to play their part in building a sustainable future for the Burren and for those who have the good fortune of working, living or visiting here.”

The 60 businesses awarded Certificates of Achievement this year include Aillwee Burren Experience, Burren Court Holiday Homes, The Burren Distillery, Burren Fine Wine and Food, Gregans Castle Hotel, Hazelwood Lodge, Hylands Burren Hotel, Monks Seafood Restaurant & Bar, Newtown Castle, Wild Atlantic Lodge (Ballyvaughan); Burren Outdoor Education And Training Centre (Bellharbour); Burren Farm Experience, INStone - Irish Natural Stone (Boston); Burren Forts Ltd (Caherconnell); Michael Cusack Centre (Carron), Burren Experience Guided Walks, Dysert O’Dea Castle & Clare Archaeology Centre, Limestone Yoga, Walk with Pius (Corofin); Aran View Filling Station, Doolin Cave, Doolin Ferry Co., Doolin Inn, Doolin Pantry, Fiddle and Bow Hotel, Hotel Doolin, Nagle Doolin Camping, The Clare Jam Company, The Lodge Doolin, The Lodges at Sea View House, Wild Meadow Huts (Doolin); Market House Foodhall, Falls Hotel (Ennistymon); Aloha Surf School (Fanore); Lady Gregory Hotel (Gort), St Tola Goat Cheese Farm (Inagh); The Burren Centre (Kilfenora); Burren Nature Sanctuary; Burren Yoga Retreats (Kinvara); Castledarcy Glamping, Lahinch Golf Club, Lahinch Leisure Centre, Spooneys Restaurant Lahinch, Wild Kitchen (Lahinch); Cliffs of Moher Experience, Cliffs of Moher Hotel, Cliffs of Moher Retreat, Cormac's Coast, Irish T-shirts , Moher Cottage, Vaughans Anchor Inn (Liscannor); Common Knowledge, The Burren Smokehouse, The Ritz, Lisdoonvarna Failte CLG, Sheedy's Hotel & Restaurant, Slieve Elva Bed & Breakfast, White’s Hotels (Lisdoonvarna); and Linnane’s Lobster Bar, Café Linnalla ice cream (New Quay).

Visit or for further information on the Geopark Code of Practice for Sustainable Tourism.

Page last reviewed: 07/05/24

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