Introduction to Ecotourism


  1. About Ecotourism (Responsible Tourism), its international origins and development to date in Ireland
  2. What is the difference between Tourism and Responsible Tourism
  3. The role of eco labeling within Responsible Tourism
  4. Greenwashing in Tourism
  5. Display an understanding of Responsible Tourism in Ireland and internationally
  6. The principles of sustainable tourism and demonstrate how your enterprise can or does strive to achieve these principles


Learner Output:This module will equip you with the foundation knowledge you will need to create a Responsible Tourism Policy for your business and achieve relevant criteria requirements for the certification process.



Environmentally Sustainable Practices  

Learn to:Develop an Environmental Policy for your business that will focus on energy, waste, water, chemical use, green purchasing and wildlife and biodiversity.   

This will include:

  1. Understanding the role of minimal impact codes
  2. The application of certification and eco labels to an ecotourism business
  3. Developing environmental impact policies, green purchasing policies and understanding the role of staff and visitor education in the principles of ecotourism
  4. Communicate their environmentally sustainable practices to their staff, visitors and community


Learner Output:  Learners will have the knowledge, tools and assistance to develop policy documents relevant to this module.



Natural Area Focus 

Learn to: 

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the landowner debate
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of ‘Leave No Trace’ ethics
  3. Identify the need to manage and restrict numbers of visitors while experiencing nature
  4. Discuss the role of education and interpretation as part of your products
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of the contribution that Responsible Tourism makes to the community
  6. Explain the need to work with the community on events that conserve the environment
  7. Communicate the role that Responsible Tourism plays in promoting cross-cultural understanding and respect and awareness of heritage.
  8. Research the potential natural areas close to your business/conservation issues/payback schemes etc.
Learner Output:Choose a Payback scheme for criteria achievement



Interpretation, Education and Conservation 

Learn to:  

  1. Explain the role of interpreting nature for their guests as part of their tourism product
  2. Identify the need for an interpretative and educational component for your product
  3. Explain the importance of conservation within your product
Learner Output:You will be equipped to design an Interpretative Plan for your customers



Applying Certification/Responsible Marketing

Responsible Marketing and Participation in Best Practice TourismLearn about:  

  1. The importance of responsible marketing
  2. Delivering standards and developing responsible products
  3. Marketing tools to promote Responsible Tourism
  4. The importance of collecting market research and feedback from your customers.
Learner Outputs:Develop a responsible marketing plan, taking into account post-certification action plans.