Burren Ecotourism’s objective is to ensure that an exciting and memorable holiday experience is had by all who visit the area, which in turn supports sustainability and conservation efforts in the local community.
The business network prides itself on providing genuine and authentic experiences for everyone who comes to the Burren.
Affectionately known as BEN by its members, Burren Ecotourism began its roots in 2008. A group of 18 tourism businesses got together with a clear vision – that the Burren will become a premier internationally recognised ecotourism region ensuring the future economic and social growth and sustainable development of its communities, environment and heritage.
This group piloted the first national ecotourism certification programme, managed by Ecotourism Ireland, and the importance of this initiative as a national pilot can be seen in the level of support it has received over the last few years (supporting agencies include Clare County Council, Clare Local Development Company, Shannon Development and Fáilte Ireland).
Burren Ecotourism was officially launched by Darina Allen on 3rd March 2011 in Gregans Castle Hotel, Balllyvaughan.
In early 2012 another 18 businesses joined and have had (or will have this year) visitor experiences awarded.
The Benifits of Burren Ecotourism
- You will have the opportunity to engage with a protected and most unique landscape in a way that is sustainable both for the environment and the local community.
- You can be assured that the business and experience have met a defined environmental and ecotourism standard and has subjected itself to independent scrutiny and monitoring;
- You can be satisfied that the experience is genuine and authentic.
- You will gain a privileged and intimate insight into the nature and culture of the Burren, engaging directly with local people, local heritage and/or local culture.
- The individual personalities you meet and their local knowledge guarantee a unique and authentic experience that is truly representative of the Burren way of life, culture and heritage.
- Because Burren ecotourism providers collaborate with each other on a number of fronts, visitors can rely on excellent local knowledge of other options in the area and can avail of more than one ecotourism experience, even on one trip.
- The environment benefits from active conservation activities e.g beach clean-ups, schools liaison, as well as the financial support and patronage of the ecotourism providers.
- Sustainable travel to the Burren helps preserve the local economy and the ability of the community to live and thrive in the area