Wednesday 28 September 2016

Burren and Cliffs of Moher win National Geographic World Legacy Award

Sustainable tourism

Published 10/03/2016 | 07:15

The Cliffs of Moher
The Cliffs of Moher
Representatives of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Burren Beo Trust Conservation Volunteers pictured with Costas Christ from the National Geographic in the Burren. Photo: John Meyler
The Burren in Co. Clare has a fascinating ecology

Ireland's Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark has won one of just five National Geographic World Legacy Awards.

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The awards, announced at travel trade show ITB Berlin, recognise companies, organisations and destinations leading the way in sustainable tourism.

"From the seeds of a local community project, Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark today represents a vibrant and successful destination-wide partnership between the private sector, local villagers and municipal authorities working together to safeguard one of Ireland's most beautiful natural landscapes," National Geographic said.

"The project demonstrates the power of well-planned and managed tourism to improve local livelihoods, provide a high-quality visitor experience and promote conservation."

Over 100 entries were received from 51 countries for the awards, ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges, with other winners including Mission Hills in China, TIME Unlimited Tours in New Zealand, and Zambia's Bushcamp Company.

The Burren and Cliffs of Moher, which achieved Geopark status in 2011, won the 'Destination Leadership' category of the World Legacy Awards for its tourism for conservation project, GeoparkLIFE.

Representatives of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Burren Beo Trust Conservation Volunteers pictured with Costas Christ from the National Geographic in the Burren. Photo: John Meyler
Representatives of the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark and Burren Beo Trust Conservation Volunteers pictured with Costas Christ from the National Geographic in the Burren. Photo: John Meyler

“This award will elevate the Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark as one of the leading sustainable tourism destinations," said Carol Gleeson, Manager of the Geopark.

Gerard Dollard, Director of Services at Clare County Council, added:

"Since 2006, Clare County Council has been working in the Burren to develop a truly sustainable tourism destination that gives direct benefits to the local community, promotes and celebrates local culture and produce, preserves the environment and provides a great visitor experience.

"This has been achieved with great support and partnership from local communities and businesses and the agencies responsible for tourism, conservation and local development.”

"The ripple effects of the travel economy can be felt across the globe, not always in good ways," said George Stone, National Geographic Travel's editor-in-chief.

"These World Legacy Awards winners show how best practices in tourism today can help sustain the world's best destinations for generations of travelers to come."

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