With a growing market of visitors looking for more sustainable options whilst travelling, the focus to provide sustainable tourism is becoming a key priority for many local businesses.

Having successfully piloted a business sustainability training programme in 2020 with eight local businesses participating, Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Global Geopark was delighted to recently roll out the second round, facilitated by leading tourism training consultants, The Tourism Space.

This year, 12 new local businesses participated in the programme, including Arch House B&B, Blaney Caravan Park, Blue Green Yonder, Erne Water Taxi and the Marble Arch Caves in Co. Fermanagh, as well as Carafin Lodge, Hawthorn Lodge, Into the Wild, Jampa Ling, Noeleen Shannon Yoga, Slieve Russell Hotel, and the XL Blacklion and Route 16 Café in Co. Cavan.

The training programme was highly practical, providing businesses with the tools to establish baseline information and benchmark standards in the areas of energy, water, and waste management.

As well as a field trip to The Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark in Co. Clare to engage with the Burren Ecotourism Network to learn about best practises, the comprehensive 12-week programme covered a wide range of topics.

They included energy conservation and energy management, biodiversity and tourism in the geopark, water conservation and water management, leave no trace, waste management, accessible and inclusive tourism, marketing the geopark together, and building sustainability into the geopark visitor experience.

Funded by Cavan County Council and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, the Business Sustainability Training Programme was a framework that allowed businesses located within Cuilcagh Lakelands Geopark to come together to build a sustainable tourism offering and achieve cost savings through reductions in waste, water, and energy consumption.

Having recently and successfully completed the programme, these 12 businesses now benefit from becoming a member of the Geopark Business Network.

The businesses’ achievements and success for completing the course were celebrated in a certificate ceremony at the Slieve Russell Hotel.

Fermanagh Lakeland Tourism and This is Cavan were also in attendance to show their support, as well as apologies from Failte Ireland and Tourism NI.

If you are interested in your business participating in a future business sustainability training programme and becoming a part of the Geopark Business Network, email info@cuilcaghlakelands.org.