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Noirín Hegarty, Lonely Planet; Catherine Martin TD, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media; and Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, at the announcement that Burren Ecotourism Network has been named a ‘Best Community Tourism Project’ by Lonely Planet. Pic – Coalesce

Promotional blitz planned for Burren Ecotourism Network

A MAJOR promotional push of the Burren Ecotourism Network is being planned in the wake of the local initiative becoming the only Irish tourism project to be included in the Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel picks for 2021.
Naming the Burren Ecotourism Network one of ten world-wide winners in its new ‘Best in Community’ category this week Lonely Planet described it as “an impressive community collaboration of over 60 local enterprises which has transformed Ireland’s Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark into a global leader for sustainable tourism. Joining together to promote slow tourism, local engagement and a greater responsibility for a more sustainable future for all in the area. All enterprises subscribe to the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark ‘Code of Sustainable Practice’. This is an online platform that measures waste output, water consumption and energy usage and encourages each business to make reductions in these areas. The Code of Practice is the only one of its kind in Ireland.”
Tourism Ireland has announced a raft of promotional activity to spread the word about the Lonely Planet accolade. This will include a new video highlighting the accolade as well as the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark CLICK HERE; a major PR and publicity push to top travel and lifestyle journalists around the world; and extensive social media activity, including posts and news across social media to millions of followers.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, has urged tourists to visit the county and see for themselves the “wonderful community activism” displayed by the network.
“I would like to congratulate the Burren Ecotourism Network on being recognised as one of the best Community Tourism Projects in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2021. This is an internationally-renowned accolade for the group and well deserved. In such a challenging year for the tourism industry, I am heartened to see Ireland and, in particular, the Burren Ecotourism Network become world leaders in sustainable tourism. When the time is right, I would encourage both domestic and international tourists alike to visit Co Clare and view the wonderful community activism on show, which helps protect this stunning part of our island.”
Welcoming the news, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, “I would like to congratulate the Burren Ecotourism Network on being named a ‘Best Community Tourism Project’ in Lonely Planet’s prestigious Best in Travel 2021. It is a well-deserved accolade, recognising all of their hard work to become a global leader for sustainable tourism. I would also like to thank Lonely Planet for the wonderful support they have shown the island of Ireland over the years. In what has been a devastating year for travel and tourism, this accolade is really good news and will surely inspire travellers everywhere to put the Burren, Co Clare and the island of Ireland on their holiday wish-list – when the time is right.”
Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Councillor Mary Howard, has described the inclusion of the Burren in the top 30 places to travel to in the world as a “prestigious recognition of the hard work undertaken by the local community in becoming a leader in sustainable tourism”.
Pat Dowling, Chief Executive of Clare County Council, said the award is the result of many years of collaboration and commitment by Burren Ecotourism Network members and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark. This has been reinforced with financial supports from the Local Authority under the Community Support Grant Scheme.
Welcoming news of the award, Carol Gleeson, who is the Council’s Manager of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark, said, “It has been a long journey since 2008 when the concept of establishing an ecotourism network in the Burren was first looked at by Burren Connect (now the UNESCO Global Geopark) and a handful of local businesses. Since then, with support from the Clare County Council-led Geopark and other agencies, the Burren Ecotourism Network has grown from strength to strength and it is wonderful to see it receive this prestigious award.” Deirdre O’Shea, Head of Tourism (Acting), Clare County Council, remarked on the “outstanding achievement” by the Burren Ecotourism Network.

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