Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark, November 2020-February 2021
Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark identified a significant opportunity for greater engagement with businesses located within the Geopark, in particular an opportunity to build sustainable practices within the business community.
The Tourism Space was commissioned to deliver a pilot training programme with 10 businesses, who were visitor-ready and had the will and potential to harness the Geopark brand and ethos of sustainability and use it within their businesses to form a competitive advantage.
The programme sought to place a focus on embedding a culture of sustainability, where progress could be measured and that would align with the Geopark Charter.
We delivered training on the following topics:
Due to Covid-19, we delivered the entire programme online. This included group and one-to-one training. The programme included a number of expert trainers and industry guest speakers, selected to match the learning needs of the training cohort.
Strand 1: Leaner & Greener
- Setting up a Sustainability Management System.
- Sustainability Goal-setting and Action-planning.
- Waste Management in your Business
- Water Conservation in your Business.
- Energy Conservation in your Business
Strand 2: Better & Brighter
- Green Purchasing
- Accessibility in Geopark Tourism.
- Engaging Geopark communities.
- Engaging visitors in the Geopark Story.
- Championing Biodiversity and Geodiversity in the Geopark.
Strand 3: Louder & Prouder
- Messaging and Marketing for your destination.
- Marketing the Geopark together.
- Building and sharing Geopark itineraries.
- Becoming a flagship Geopark Experience.
- Leveraging national and local media.
- Geopark Storytelling.
- Delivery of 10 interactive training modules, entirely online due to Covid-19.
- Delivery of 3 hours one-to-one training per participant.
- Facilitation of one-to-one peer training between participants and industry experts.
- A virtual field trip connecting participants with businesses in the Burren & Cliffs of Moher UNESCO Global Geopark.
- A completion ceremony including participants, elected representatives and Council officials. Participants were virtually conferred with Course Completion Certificates.
- Detailed programme evaluation and Programme Completion Report.
Added Value and Impact
- A Sustainability Statement for each business.
- A Management system for waste, water and energy for each business.
- A Geopark Business Case Study for each business.
- A suite of Geopark itineraries for use on the new Geopark website and in promotion by businesses.
- Material for press releases and media opportunities for each individual business.
- Significant media features or mentions in both local and national press.
- A library of images that can be used for future PR or marketing opportunities.
- The formation of a Geopark Business Network comprising the pilot course participants.
Feedback from participants
We are at the early stages still but we, the businesses, are excited to be working together and know that creating a tourism network will be key. I also believe that community engagement will be a huge part of the destination's success. It is fantastic to see a programme like this being developed."
Isabelle & Marius Leonard, Corralea Activity Centre, Co. Fermanagh.
It's been fantastic to connect with people from both sides of hte border, some of whom we hadn't met before. For me, this course has been about learning what other businesses are in the Geopark, discover the attractions that are on our doorstep and the hidden gems that we didn't know much about."
Sean Thornton, Cavan Adventure Centre, Co. Cavan.
The programme has been so beneficial to my business and has opened my eyes to the benefits of sustainability. I think food and food producers will be important to the Geopark going forward. I would be interested in working with other food producers and restaurants to develop a Geopark Food Trail.
Paul Farrelly, Drummully Boxty, Co. Cavan.
Sustainable tourism has been the linchpin that has brought us all together and got us talking about the untapped potential of this area and all the hidden gems we have here. We understand that we all have to work together to have enduring businesses that last into the future and the importance of looking after the environment."
John Roche, NI Foods, Tullymill Restaurant & Cottages, Co. Fermanagh.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
As part of our sustainability policy, The Tourism Space™, has committed to raising awareness of how tourism can positively contribute to the global sustainability agenda. We have extensive experience, from both a research and practice perspective, in supporting the emergence of sustainable approaches within businesses and destinations. We integrate the Sustainable Development Goals into our programme design and delivery, thereby building awareness and understanding and highlighting how each business and destination can contribute in practical and meaningful ways.Read more about how we support sustainability and regeneration