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Pictured L-R are Ian Lambe, Evolve Technologies; Birgitta Hedin-Curtin, Burren Smokehouse; Jarlath O'Dwyer, Burren Ecotourism Network; Joan Hamilton, Doolin 2 Aran Ferries; Mike Linnane, Evolve Technologies and Julie Carr, Burren Ecotourism Network. Photo: Paul Corry.

New website looks to put Burren EcoTourism members on the map

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A NEW tourism destination website aimed at raising awareness of the Burren region in Ireland and overseas has been launched.
Members of the Burren Ecotourism Network were joined in Lisdoonvarna this week by the web development team, Evolve Technologies, to launch the new look
The website aims to bring the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark to life with stories of the people, places and attractions of the area and to attract more visitors to stay in North Clare.
The site will also carry a strong message of ecotourism and sustainability. That is a principle that all member businesses subscribe to, and it has previously helped the network to win the ‘Lonely Planet ‘Best in Travel 2021’ award for Community Tourism.
Evolve Technologies, which is based in Ennistymon, has been working closely with members of the Burren Ecotourism Network team, including CEO Jarlath O’Dwyer, George Quinn of Hylands Burren Hotel and chairperson of the Network, marketing coordinator Julie Carr and marketing intern Michelle O’Brien.
The team collaborated to develop the design, content and user experience of the website.
The project began as part of a Leader-funded programme to enhance the digital presence of the Burren Ecotourism Network in early 2020.
“We were delighted to work with Evolve Technologies, a local company who are based in the Digital Hub in Ennistymon and have a good understanding of the product and knowledge of the North Clare area,” Jarlath O’Dwyer said.
MD of Evolve Technologies, Mike Linnane added: “According to Google, more than 65% of leisure travellers begin researching online before they decide where or how they want to travel.
“After checking what previous visitors have to say about the destination online, they will head straight to the destination website. First impressions of the destination are key to whether visitors will decide to stay on the site and learn more.
“With this in mind, we designed the website to have a strong visual content, with professional video and photos commissioned for each of the 70 plus member businesses.
“The website will act as a one a one-stop-shop with all the information about the Burren’s tourism attractions, activity providers, trails, places to stay and eat and events and festivals that are happening in the region.”
Other Burren Ecotourism members highlighted several other facets of the new site.
“It also provides information about the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, which has a strong association with the Burren Ecotourism Network, providing regular training sessions for members including the unique Burren code of sustainable practice,” said Joan Hamilton of Doolin2Aran Ferries. also has an e-commerce element.
“Visitors can also purchase accommodation package deals on the website, as well as food hampers, books and gifts with more products in the pipeline,” Birgitta Curtin of the Burren Smokehouse said.
“Famed for its natural beauty and strong sustainability ethos, the Burren has become one of the most popular tourism regions in Ireland.
“In the last year, the area has been showcased on TV programmes such as RTE’s Burren: Heart of Stone, Smother and Nationwide, Neven’s Seafood Trails as well as TG4’s An Bhoirinn.”
Along with a range of accommodation options from B&Bs, self-catering and hotels, the area has world famous visitor attractions, such as the Burren and Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark, a Michelin star gastro pub and four Georgina Campbell Food and Hospitality award winners in 2021.
“While domestic travel and tourism has dominated this year, we expect that the world travel market will hopefully return in 2022,” Mr O’Dwyer said.
“The website will be key to helping Irish and International tourists to the region to plan their visit in advance of travelling here, and to extend their length of stay due to the availability of better information about what the area can offer them by way of activities and experiences.
2The Burren Ecotourism Network wishes to acknowledge the great support given to this project by LEADER through the team at Clare Local Development Company (CLDC).”

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