Background and Benefits of Certification

What is Ecotourism?

Ecotourism embraces the principles of sustainable tourism.

Expressed simply, sustainable tourism can be defined as:

“Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”

Background of Ecotourism Ireland:

Ecotourism Ireland holds the only standard in Ireland recognised by the UN initiated Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) that is recognised as the global authority for sustainable tourism.

Founded in 2009, Ecotourism Ireland came from a ground-breaking project called Greenbox in in the north-west of Ireland.   Greenbox, which ran from 2006-2009, highlighted the best of what the region had to offer while ensuring the regions heritage and environment were preserved for this and future generations.  

Following the success of Greenbox, Ecotourism Ireland was then developed in association with Fáilte Ireland and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.  Further to this it established an Advisory Panel with members from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI), the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (DARD), and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).  These agencies act as an independent auditing aspect of the label nationally.