Awards

The Irish Responsible Tourism Awards

The awards are a response to demand from the Irish trade for a new type of awards showcasing the best in Irish responsible tourism.

The 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards aim to inspire replication, to excite media interest, to encourage competition and celebration from across the tourism industry on the island of Ireland - these are all-Ireland awards with the involvement of Tourism Northern Ireland.

The Irish Responsible Tourism Awards are part of a growing family of worldwide responsible tourism awards which are all linked to the World Responsible Tourism Awards, founded by responsibletravel.com.

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Winners of each of the categrories will be automatically longlisted for the World Responsible Tourism Awards - a great opportunity for the Irish trade to raise international awareness.

The awards judging process is rigourous & transparent - respecting the work undertaken by those making submissions. The 2016 jury includes representatives from the Failte Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland, the media, Irish academics and industry experts and will be chaired by international responsible tourism expert Professor Harold Goodwin.

Details on the 2015 shortlist, silver and gold winners can be found below under 2015 awards.

2016 Irish Responsible Tourism AwardsShow all | Hide all

  • Categories

    Categories

    2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Award Categories

    1. Best Destination for Responsible Tourism

    Best Destination for Responsible Tourism will be awarded to a destination setting an inspiring example for responsible tourism - this can include a village, town, city or region - places that use tourism to make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. The winning destination will consider their community and environment to be at the heart of a memorable experience for visitors. Where the destination engages in promotion it promotes responsible holiday experiences that celebrate and protect the best of their destination.

    What the judges want: Our judges will be looking for a destination with a committed and broad integrated approach to responsible tourism, one that inspires and excites, and provides an example of best practice for other destinations. Particular focus will be given to those destinations making the best use of resources available to them.

    2. Best for accessible/inclusive tourism

    Best for accessible/inclusive tourism will go to an inspirational tourism related business, attraction, experience or destination that can demonstrate they have integrated the needs of people with disabilities enabling inclusivity and providing information on their websites and at critical stages of the visitor path to enable accessible tourism. Responsible tourism should be accessible to visitors of all physical and mental capabilities - facilitating social inclusion.

    What the judges want: Our judges will be looking for a an inspirational tourism related business, attraction, experience or destination that can demonstrate they have fully integrated the needs of all visitors and in addition have incorporated a particularly innovative approach that could be replicated in other businesses or destinations.

    3. Best for natural heritage tourism

    Best for natural heritage tourism will be awarded to a tourism attraction, experience or network that is designed to protect and promote the natural heritage of a community including habitat and species conservation. The winner will integrate principles of responsible tourism into every aspect of their operation.

    What the Judges want: Proven examples of a natural resource being celebrated and protected at the heart of a tourism experience and that can be replicated in other businesses or destinations.

    4. Best local authority initiative for responsible tourism

    Best local authority initiative for responsible tourism will go to a local authority (county or city council) that can demonstrate an innovative and responsible approach to tourism development. This can include initiatives that have influenced positive behavioural change, partnerships for poverty reduction, effective themed or walking/cycling trails, destination marketing programmes with a responsible tourism focus, or an innovative way of maximising local tourism employment.

    What the judges want: Our judges will be looking for a local authority with a committed and broad integrated approach to responsible tourism, one that has made a real difference at a local level that inspires and excites, and provides an example of best practice for other local authorities at a national and international level.

    5. Best tourism accommodation for local sourcing

    Best tourism accommodation for local sourcing will go to a awarded to a hostel, guesthouse, B&B, hotel, or other accommodation that specialises in sourcing their goods and services locally and demonstrate and innovative approach.

    What the Judges want: Our judges will be looking for a committed and broad integrated approach to responsible tourism, one that inspires and excites, and provides an example of best practice for tourism accommodation at any scale.

    6. Best innovation in responsible tourism

    Best innovation in responsible tourism will go to a tourism related business or destination that can demonstrate an innovative and replicable approach with a positive impact on the local community within which they are based; that their business or destination is based on principles of responsible tourism and is making their community a better place to live in and to visit. This could include an innovative approach to marketing, trail development, visitor transport or rural diversification - we are looking for exciting new developments.

    What the Judges want: Our judges will be looking for a committed and broad integrated approach to responsible tourism, one that inspires and excites, and provides an example of best practice for other businesses or destinations.

    Overall Winner

    The overall winner will be chosen by our panel of judges from the winners of each of the awards.

    Please nominate for one category only.

    In general our judges will be looking for nominees with a committed and broad integrated approach to responsible tourism, one that inspires and excites, and provides an example of best-practice for other similar businesses and communities.

    Please see 'Judges and Judging' for details of the how winners will be chosen.

  • How to Enter

    How to Enter

    Who Can Enter?

    We encourage you to nominate those businesses, community organisations or destinations that you think are making a difference.

    You can nominate yourself, you can nominate someone else - often some of the best nominations come from those least likely to put themeselves forward.

    If you are a resident, visitor, owner of a tourism-related business or work in a destination in Ireland or Northern Ireland please take two minutes to enter the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards.

    How to Enter?

    There is no fee to enter the awards!

    We are inviting entries from anyone who wishes to participate. Submissions can only be made for one category.

    For a simple online nomination form go here

    Nominations will not be accepted with incomplete information.

    Entries are now closed. Thanks to all those who entered.

  • Judges & Judging

    2016 Judges

    We are delighted to announce the jury panel for the awards includes:

    Mark Henry, Central Marketing Director, Tourism Ireland

    Mark is an insight-driven, strategic marketer and is an established leader in deploying new media marketing.  He leads the Central Marketing Division of Tourism Ireland and has responsibility for the organisation's marketing functions on the island of Ireland, with teams based in both Dublin and Coleraine.  His remit covers strategy development, research, brand, content, marketing communications, e-marketing, customer service, and cooperative marketing activity with the tourism industry.  He has previously led the promotion of national tourism initiatives such as "The Gathering 2013" and "Northern Ireland 2012" overseas.  Mark is currently Vice President of the European Travel Commission which unites 32 of Europe's national tourist boards.

    Before joining Tourism Ireland Mark was Strategic Development Manager with the Internet arm of Horizon Technology Group plc.  Before that again he was Head of Research & Planning for the e-business subsidiary of eircom, the former state telecommunications company.  Mark possesses Masters degrees in both Psychology and Business Administration. 

    Dr Kevin Griffin, Tourism Lecturer DIT, former EDEN Awards judge

    Kevin Griffin BEd. MA PhD is a lecturer and former Head of Tourism at the Dublin Institute of Technology. His academic and teaching interests are quite eclectic and his key activity spans sustainable tourism, cultural tourism, heritage interpretation, local history and education. He has written, presented and edited a range of work on various topics in the sphere of tourism, events and local studies, being keen to undertaken research of both an applied and a theoretical nature.

    He is Chair of the International Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Group which he has led through the production of numerous reviewed publications in recent years. In 2013, with Dr. Razaq Raj, he established the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage, and is a book series Editor in this area with CABI.

    Kevin actively participates in a number of international tourism networks including the European Tourism Futures Institute and the UNESCO / UNITWIN Culture Tourism and Development Network. He is currently working on a three year, fifteen partner, one million euro EU funded Tempus IV project entitled NETOUR which aims to support the development of third level tourism education in Russia.

    Finally, Kevin has developed an international profile in the area of sustainable tourism, and the DIT-ACHIEV Model for Sustainable Tourism Planning which he developed with his colleague Dr. Sheila Flanagan, is recognised internationally as an exemplar of Best Practice in the area using indicators for sustainable tourism planning.

    Cyril McAree, Managing Director, Hotel & Restaurant Times

    Cyril McAree is the founder and publisher of Hotel & Restaurant Times. Established in 1998, the magazine is now considered an essential read for those involved in the hospitality sector. The publication is circulated bi-monthly, on a controlled circulation basis to named individuals. The magazine has a number of exclusive agreements with leading hospitality organisations including the RAI, IFSA, IASI and regularly features member specific content, including newsletters. Hotel and Restaurant Times is circulated on a named basis to members of the RAI, Irish Hotel Federation; Fáilte Ireland approved Hotels, Irish Country Houses and Restaurants, Ireland's Blue Book, IFSA & IASI members, Hotel marketing groups, selected Architects and Interior Designers and can also be sourced in leading newsagents. 

    Catherine Mack, Travel Writer, responsibletravel.com

    Catherine Mack is a travel writer specialising in responsible tourism. With a Masters degree in Responsible Tourism Management, she was the Ethical Traveller columnist for The Irish Times for four years. Irish, but based in London, she has also written for leading UK national newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Observer, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, Coast Magazine and National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

    Catherine is the author of Ecoescape:Ireland (Green Guide, 2008) and has published a travel app called Ireland Green Travel.  She is currently full time writer for www.responsibletravel.com, where her work has included responsible tourism guides to New York State and Colorado. As well as writing for consumers, Catherine has written for the travel trade, such as her regular sustainable tourism blog and content for the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Ecotourism Handbook for Fáilte Ireland as well as a recent collection of writing on all the EDEN award winning regions of Ireland, also for Fáilte Ireland. Catherine touches base regularly with responsible tourism developments back home by participating in workshops with grassroots businesses and regional networks, in partnership with Ecotourism Ireland.

    Paddy Mathews, Head of Investment & Innovation, Failte Ireland

    Paddy Mathews is Head of Investment and Innovation at Fáilte Ireland, with a lead responsibility for sustainability issues. He was part of the Wild Atlantic Way project team and established the Environment Unit within Fáilte Ireland. Paddy is a town planner and conservation specialist and held the post of Planning Officer with the Heritage Council from 1995 to 2003. He also worked for several years in consultancy with John Cronin & Associates. For more information please visit www.failteireland.ie

    Dr Harold Goodwin, Director The Responsible Tourism Partnership & Chair of the World Responsible Tourism Awards

    Harold is Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University where he runs an MSc in Responsible Tourism. Harold has been at the forefront of Responsible Tourism since the late nineties, in 2002 he co-chaired the 1st International Conference in Responsible Tourism in Destinations and drafted the Cape Town Declaration which included the definition: using tourism to make better places for people to live in and for people to visit. Harold has worked with business and destinations around the world on how Responsible Tourism benefits businesses and how to maximise the positive impacts and minimise negative impacts. Harold is Chair of the World Responsible Tourism Awards judging panel. For more information please visit www.haroldgoodwin.info

     

    Judging Process

    Longlisting: Submissions will reviewed, by members of ICRT, who will carry out preliminary desk-top research into the policies and practices of those nominated and selected a 10 -15 'longlist' of finalists per category. Businesses eligible for an award must be transparent about about these on their websites. We are looking for those that go above and beyond the basics of responsible tourism, and who might be eligible or an award. This is not a certification scheme - we look for examples of business practice which inspire replication.

    Questionnaire: Those on the longlist receive a more detailed questionnaire about broader aspects  of responsible tourism which will be evaluated by the jury in order to select winners for each category. This questionnaire requires detailed information, quantifiable data and evidence of their acheivements in responsible tourism and is demanding to complete. The focus of the questionnaire is on demonstrating evidence of positive change, and each awards category has a specifically designed questionnaire designed by industry & academic experts in responsible tourism.

    Closing date: The closing date for the return of completed questionnaires and references is 10th July 2016.

    Finalists: The 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards list of Finalists will be released at the beginning of September 2016.

    Final Decision: The jury panel will meet before the conference presenting their recommendations and make their case for them to the other judges. These will be debated and decisions made. There will be full disclosure of vested interests from the outset and the Chair of the judges may, if judges have a relationship with one of those nominated, request they do not vote or participate in the debate. This will be managed on a case by case basis. The decision of judges will be final.

    This format mirrors the World Responsible Tourism Awards judging process and makes the Irish Responsible Tourism Awards the most rigourous awards possible.

  • Media

    Media

    We are delighted to announce that Hotel & Restaurant Times will be our media partner for the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Conference & Awards.

    See the print and online copies for promotion of the awards during the nominations stage. There will be further coverage to announce the shortlist and the award winners.

    The awards will also be promoted by Failte Ireland in their regular newsletter and will be covered by responsibletravel.com during the promotion of the World Responsible Tourism Awards in November. We will also be sending out press releases at each stage of the awards process.

    With this national and international coverage what better way to get noticed!

  • Prizes and Benefits

    Prizes for Winners

    Award Category winners will be invited to collect a framed certificate at the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards ceremony at the Irish Responsible Tourism Conference on the 6th October 2016 at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8.

    More details on this conference, including registration details, can be found on this website under conferences.

    Benefits for Winners

    The awards will set businesses apart from their peers and offer an opportunity for competitive marketing advantage. News of the award and the businesses efforts in acheiving it is likely to travel far - via print and online media as well as via social media with members of the Irish media present. Those shortlisted for the awards and the award winners will benefit from considerable positive publicity in Ireland, Northern Ireland and the UK.

    Shout About It!

    Winners will have the right to use an image file in online and print media indicating their success in 2016 & 2017.

    If you are shortlisted or win and award please shout about it through Facebook, Twitter, in your newsletter and on your websites. Adding the award image file to your email signature will also help your business stand out.

    Perhaps the greatest award however, is the the sense of recognition achieved for the efforts put into making a better visitor experience, developing a better environment in which to work, and generating greater benefits for your local community.

  • Awards Ceremony FAQ's

    When is the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards Ceremony?

    The awards ceremony will take place during the Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference on the 6th October 2016.

    Can I attend the ceremony only?

    No. The ceremony is an integral part of the conference.

    If I am shortlisted for an award to I need to pay to attend the awards?

    Yes as the awards are part of the conference day.

    If I pay for the conference can I attend the awards?

    Yes, registration for the conference includes the drinks reception and the awards ceremony.

    If I've registered for the conference/awards and my business is shortlisted will I get a refund?

    No, registration for the conference covers the costs of the event and bringing speakers to the event.

  • Longlist

    2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards Longlist

    46 organisations and businesses have been longlisted for the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards.

    The longlist can be found here.

    The awards - part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards family - are the most rigorously judged responsible tourism awards in the world.

    All those who made the longlist are doing something exceptional that has the capability to inspire others.

    Many thanks to all who entered or or who nominated another business - the award categories for 2017 may suit your business better so do enter again next year.

  • Finalists

    The finalists for the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards are as follows:

    Best Destination

    • Mulranny (Co. Mayo)
    • Inishbofin Island (Co. Galway)
    • Sheep's Head Way (Co. Cork)

    Best for Accessible/Inclusive Tourism

    • Mobility Mojo
    • Gleneagle Hotel Group (Co. Kerry)

    Best for Natural Heritage Tourism

    • Doolin Cave (Co. Clare)
    • Burren Nature Sanctuary (Co. Galway)
    • Sea Synergy Marine Awareness & Activity Centre (Co. Kerry)

    Best Innovation in Responsible Tourism

    • Great Lighthouses of Ireland
    • The Blackfriary Community Heritage & Archaeology Project (Co. Meath)

    Best Local Authority Initiative for Responsible Tourism

    • Westport Smarter Travel Bike Buffet (Mayo County Council)
    • Lough Muckno (Monaghan County Council)

    Best Tourism Accommodation for Local Sourcing

    • Fuchsia Lane Farm Holiday Cottages (Co. Tipperary)
    • Hotel Doolin (Co. Clare)
    • Seaview B&B (Co. Clare)

    We would like to thank our judges who have invested so much time in the analysis and debate of this shortlist. Unfortunately we are not in a position to give individual feedback on judges decisions in the awards. We were overwhelmed not only by the number of applications but also by the quality of applications in each category.

    Please be assured that our panel of experts considered each category in great detail, using a broad list of criteria that needed to be met by nominees that were shortlisted. If you were not shortlisted, this does not mean that the judges do not value your business or organisation and we encourage you to apply again next year. And if you were shortlisted, but do not win, please keep up the great work, and feel free to apply again next year.

    The winners will be announced at the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards on the 6th October at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin 8. For more detail please see the conference information under the Conferences tab.

    Winners will be listed here as soon as possible after the awards.

  • Gold & Silver Winners

    The winners of the 2016 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards will be announced here on the 6th October 2016.

2015 Irish Responsible Tourism AwardsShow all | Hide all

  • Judges & Judging

    2015 Judges

    David Owen, Tourism Practioner & Sustainablity Consultant

    David Owen is an international sustainable tourism practitioner, sustainability consultant and heritage manager. David has spent much of his life outside Ireland and his career has taken him around the world. Since returning to base himself in Ireland in 2001, he has continued to develop his expertise and is currently focused on conservation financing and impact investing.

    David's past experiences include working with the United Nations Environment Programme, where he was responsible for coordinating the UNEP work programme on sustainability and tourism, and launching the Global Partnership for Sustainable Tourism. Whilst working with An Taisce, the National Trust for Ireland, he was deeply involved in An Taisce's pivotal role in establishing the International National Trusts Organisation. David is now a sustainable tourism advisor to many affiliated countries and organisations. He has advised on a number of projects including World Heritage Sites around the world. He also managed the Tourism Research Centre in Dublin Institute of Technology and is currently advising a number of Central European and Middle Eastern governments on responsible tourism development strategies.

    Catherine Mack, Travel Writer, responsibletravel.com

    Catherine Mack is a travel writer specialising in responsible tourism. With a Masters degree in Responsible Tourism Management, she was the Ethical Traveller columnist for The Irish Times for four years. Irish, but based in London, she has also written for leading UK national newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Observer, The Financial Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, Coast Magazine and National Geographic Traveller Magazine.

    Catherine is the author of Ecoescape:Ireland (Green Guide, 2008) and has published a travel app called Ireland Green Travel.  She is currently full time writer for www.responsibletravel.com, where her work has included responsible tourism guides to New York State and Colorado. As well as writing for consumers, Catherine has written for the travel trade, such as her regular sustainable tourism blog and content for the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Ecotourism Handbook for Fáilte Ireland as well as a recent collection of writing on all the EDEN award winning regions of Ireland, also for Fáilte Ireland. Catherine touches base regularly with responsible tourism developments back home by participating in workshops with grassroots businesses and regional networks, in partnership with Ecotourism Ireland.

    Peter Krahenbuhl, Sustainable Travel Consulting, Travpal app, former judge for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards & founder of Sustainable Travel International

    Peter D. Krahenbuhl is a sustainability, business development and communications leader with years of experience in travel, tourism and related industries. As Co-founder and former President of Sustainable Travel International (STI), he helped develop and grow a start-up organisation into a global industry leader with outreach in the millions. He has implemented and continues to advise regarding best practices solutions for small to Fortune 500 Companies, destinations and governments.

    Peter developed several multi-industry firsts as one of the world's leading experts in eco-standards and carbon management solutions. He also specialises in strategic planning, organisational management, business and programme development; Stakeholder engagement and network leadership; CSR and public / industry relations, including integrating sustainability into branding, packaging and marketing. Peter has led or advised multiple global sustainability councils and executive level business networks. At the destination level, he has assessed or helped develop regional standards, national sustainable tourism policy and planning activities, and education and training programs.

    Prior to that Peter worked in the eco-adventure tour operators in all aspects of operations, sales, business and product development. His leadership experience extends to working on international community development and conservation projects, being a published author related to sustainability topics and travel, and as a recognized industry and public speaker. Peter currently lives in Westport, County Mayo.

    Dr Kevin Griffin, Tourism Lecturer DIT, former EDEN Awards judge

    Kevin Griffin BEd. MA PhD is a lecturer and former Head of Tourism at the Dublin Institute of Technology. His academic and teaching interests are quite eclectic and his key activity spans sustainable tourism, cultural tourism, heritage interpretation, local history and education. He has written, presented and edited a range of work on various topics in the sphere of tourism, events and local studies, being keen to undertaken research of both an applied and a theoretical nature.

    He is Chair of the International Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage Group which he has led through the production of numerous reviewed publications in recent years. In 2013, with Dr. Razaq Raj, he established the International Journal of Religious Tourism and Pilgrimage, and is a book series Editor in this area with CABI.

    Kevin actively participates in a number of international tourism networks including the European Tourism Futures Institute and the UNESCO / UNITWIN Culture Tourism and Development Network. He is currently working on a three year, fifteen partner, one million euro EU funded Tempus IV project entitled NETOUR which aims to support the development of third level tourism education in Russia.

    Finally, Kevin has developed an international profile in the area of sustainable tourism, and the DIT-ACHIEV Model for Sustainable Tourism Planning which he developed with his colleague Dr. Sheila Flanagan, is recognised internationally as an exemplar of Best Practice in the area using indicators for sustainable tourism planning.

    Catherine Fulvio, TV chef & Ballyknocken House & Cookery School, Co. Wicklow

    Catherine Fulvio, TV chef, author and owner of the award-winning Ballyknocken House & Cookery School www.ballyknocken.com in Co. Wicklow is a wonderful ambassador for Ireland and an ardent supporter of fresh and local produce.  Catherine has helped towards the culinary revolution Ireland is currently enjoying today.  She works closely with Bord Bia on promoting the important and growing agri-food sector, showcasing quality Irish produce both at home and abroad.  She also works with Tourism Ireland encouraging visitors to come and visit Ireland for a real Irish experience so much of which is about the food.

    She has worked with many organisations such as Stop Food Waste and was Ambassador for the EU Farm to Fork initiative in 2013. In 2013 she received Entrepreneur of the Year for the region of Europe and Africa, sponsored by ActionCOACH at the Business Excellence Forum.  The award recognised Ballyknocken House, Farm and Cookery School in County Wicklow as an idyllic destination for international and domestic visitors alike.

    Born and raised on a working family farm it is no great surprise that her food philosophy is "field to fork" and Catherine puts huge emphasis on provenance using the best of local and seasonal produce in her Guesthouse and Cookery School often using Ballyknocken's own herbs, vegetables and fruit.  She designs her menus and cookery courses with seasonality in mind and believes in sustainable business practices and is an advocate for food tourism as an important part of the visitor experience and is constantly looking at ways to enhance the tourist food experience in Ireland.

    Catherine's success reaches far flung shores with TV appearances including NBCs Today Show in the US and BBC Saturday Kitchen in the UK.  Her TV series have been aired in over a dozen countries and this St Patrick's Day Catherine will make her fourth appearance on NBC's Today Show where she will share some of her legendary St Patrick's Day recipes on one of the leading morning shows in the US to an audience of up to several million viewers expected for St. Patricks Day. "This is a fantastic opportunity to promote Irish Food and Ireland as a destination"says Catherine.

    For more information visit www.catherinefulvio.com or you can follow Catherine twitter (@cfulvio, Facebook (Catherine Fulvio). www.ballyknocken.com  

    David Owen, formerly of UNEP Tourism Programme and DIT Tourism Research Centre

    On the way

    Ruth Morgan, Environment & Policy Officer, Tourism Northern Ireland

    Ruth joined Tourism Northern Ireland in April 2009, having previously worked as an urban planner within the local government sector in England. Ruth represents Tourism NI in relation to environmental, planning and development matters including driving the sustainable tourism agenda in Northern Ireland. Her pocket guide to sustainable tourism 'Going Green' was published in February 2014.

    Annabel Fitzgerald, Coastal Programmes Manager, An Taisce

    Annabel FitzGerald is the Coastal Programmes Manager in the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is responsible for the management of the Blue Flag, Green Coast Award and Clean Coasts programmes in Ireland. Annabel is a member of the international Blue Flag working group developing the Blue Flag criteria for Eco-tourism Boats. She is also working closely with partners on the delivery of the Green Coast Award internationally. Clean Coasts is about engaging communities in the protection of our beaches, seas and marine life.

    Every year Clean Coasts organises hundreds of cleanups and surveys mobilising thousands of volunteers to remove considerable quantities of marine litter from our environment. Annabel has developed a suite of community engagement initiatives that has led to the expansion of the Clean Coasts programme, including; Clean Waves, Clean Coasts Week, the Big Beach Clean weekend, Love Your Coast Photography Competition, Clean Coasts Ocean Hero Awards, Clean Coasts Road Show, #2MinuteStreetClean, the Clean Coasts Corporate Volunteering Programme and the Clean Coasts Ambassador Programme. Clean Coasts has also joined international campaigns such as Beat the Microbead and #2MinuteBeachClean. www.cleancoasts.org  @BellesFitz

    Paddy Mathews, Head of Investment & Innovation, Failte Ireland

    Paddy Mathews is Head of Investment and Innovation at Fáilte Ireland, with a lead responsibility for sustainability issues. He was part of the Wild Atlantic Way project team and established the Environment Unit within Fáilte Ireland. Paddy is a town planner and conservation specialist and held the post of Planning Officer with the Heritage Council from 1995 to 2003. He also worked for several years in consultancy with John Cronin & Associates. For more information please visit www.failteireland.ie

    Dr Harold Goodwin, Director The Responsible Tourism Partnership & Chair of the World Responsible Tourism Awards

    Harold is Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University where he runs an MSc in Responsible Tourism. Harold has been at the forefront of Responsible Tourism since the late nineties, in 2002 he co-chaired the 1st International Conference in Responsible Tourism in Destinations and drafted the Cape Town Declaration which included the definition: using tourism to make better places for people to live in and for people to visit. Harold has worked with business and destinations around the world on how Responsible Tourism benefits businesses and how to maximise the positive impacts and minimise negative impacts. Harold is Chair of the World Responsible Tourism Awards judging panel. For more information please visit www.haroldgoodwin.info

     

    Judging Process

    Longlisting: Companies that made submissions were reviewed, by members of ICRT, who will carried out preliminary desk-top research into the policies and practices of those nominated and selected a 10 -15 'longlist' of finalists per category. Businesses eligible for an award must be transparent about about these on their websites. We were looking for those that go above and beyond the basics of responsible tourism, and who might be eligible or an award. This is not a certification scheme - we look for examples of business practice which inspire replication.

    Questionnaire: Those on the longlist received a more detailed questionnaire about broader aspects  of responsible tourism which were evaluated by the jury in order to select winners for each category. This questionnaire required detailed information, quantifiable data and evidence of their acheivements in responsible tourism and was demanding to complete. The focus of the questionnaire is on demonstrating evidence of positive change, and each awards category has a specifically designed questionnaire designed by industry & acedemic experts in responsible tourism. 

    Finalists: The 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards list of Finalists was released in the first week of March 2015.

    Final Decision: The jury panel met before the Responsible Tourism in Destinations conference presenting their recommendations and made their case for them to the other judges. These were debated and decisions made. There was full disclosure of vested interests from the outset and the Chair of the judges may, if judges have a relationship with one of those nominated, request they do not vote or participate in the debate. This will be managed on a case by case basis. The decision of judges will be final.

    This format mirrors the World Responsible Tourism Awards judging process and makes the Irish Responsible Tourism Awards the most rigourous awards possible.

  • Finalists

    The shortlist for the 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards is as follows:

    Best Tour Operator for Responsible Tourism

    • Connemara Wild Escapes (Co. Galway)
    • Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal)
    • Whale Watch West Cork (Co. Cork)

    Best Small Hotel or Accommodation for Responsible Tourism

    • Hotel Doolin (Co. Clare)
    • Pure Camping (Co. Clare)
    • Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat (Co. Leitrim)
    • Tory Bush Cottages (Co. Down)

    Best Transport Initiative for Responsible Tourism

    • Rock Farm Slane (Co. Meath)
    • An Taisce Green Schools Travel and Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark Partnership (Co. Clare)
    • Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal)

    Best in a Marine or Coastal Environment

    • Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tours (Co. Kerry)
    • Dolphinwatch (Co. Clare)
    • Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre & Nature Reserve (Co. Kerry)

    Best Destination for Responsible Tourism

    • Loop Head Peninsula (Co. Clare)
    • Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark (Co. Clare)
    • Living the Sheeps Head Way (Co. Cork)
    • Mulranny (Co. Mayo)

    Best Cultural Heritage Attraction

    • Bru na Boinne Visitor Centre (Co. Meath)
    • Mizen Head Signal Station Visitor Centre (Co. Cork)
    • Cnoc Suain (Co. Galway)

    Best Local Food Initiative for Responsible Tourism

    • Archways B&B (Co. Wexford)
    • Burren Smokehouse (Co. Clare)
    • Orchard Acre Farm (Co. Fermanagh)

    Best Adventure Activity Provider for Responsible Tourism

    • Atlantic Sea Kayaking and Wild Atlantic Way Walks (Co. Cork)
    • Boyne Valley Activities (Co. Meath)
    • Life Adventure Centre (Co. Down)

    We would like to thank our amazing judges who have invested so much time in the analysis and debate of this shortlist. Unfortunately we are not in a position to give individual feedback on judges decisions in the awards. We were overwhelmed not only by the number of applications but also by the quality of applications in this out first year of the awards.

    Please be assured that our panel of experts considered each category in great detail, using a broad list of criteria that needed to be met by nominees that were shortlisted. If you were not shortlisted, this does not mean that the judges do not value your business or organisation and we encourage you to apply again next year. And if you were shortlisted, but do not win, please keep up the great work, and feel free to apply again next year.

    The winners will be announced at the 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards from 7-8.30pm on the 11th March at Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Dublin 8. For more detail please see the conference information under the RTD9 tab.

    Winners will be listed here as soon as possible after the awards.

     

     

     

  • Gold & Silver Winners

    The winners of the 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards were announced at the awards ceremony on the 11th March 2015.

    The judges reasoning for their decisions can be found at /media/50639/irishrtawards2015_final_10.03.15.doc

    The award categories and the shortlisted businesses are:

    Best Tour Operator for Responsible Tourism

    • GOLD:Connemara Wild Escapes (Co. Galway)

    • SILVER:Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal), Whale Watch West Cork (Co. Cork)

    Best Small Hotel or Accommodation for Responsible Tourism

    • GOLD:Hotel Doolin (Co. Clare)

    • SILVER:Pure Camping (Co. Clare), Ard Nahoo Eco Retreat (Co. Leitrim), Tory Bush Cottages (Co. Down)

    Best Transport Initiative for Responsible Tourism

    • GOLD:An Taisce Green Schools Travel and Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark Partnership (Co. Clare)

    • SILVER:Cycle Inishowen (Co. Donegal), Rock Farm Slane (Co. Meath)

    Best in a Marine or Coastal Environment

    • GOLD:Dolphin Watch (Co. Clare)

    • SILVER:Blasket Islands Eco Marine Tours (Co. Kerry) and Tralee Bay Wetlands Centre & Nature Reserve (Co. Kerry)

    Best Destination for Responsible Tourism

    • GOLD:Loop Head Peninsula (Co. Clare),

    • SILVER:Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark (Co. Clare), Sheep's Head & Bantry Tourism Cooperative (Co. Cork), Mulranny, Co. Mayo (Co. Mayo)

    Best Cultural Heritage Attraction

    • GOLD:Cnoc Suain (Co. Galway)

    • SILVER:Brú na Bóinne (Newgrange & Knowth) (Co. Meath), Mizen Head Signal Station & Visitor Centre (Co. Cork)

    Best Local Food Initiative

    • GOLD:Archways B&B (Co. Wexford)

    • SILVER:Burren Smokehouse (Co. Clare), Orchard Acre Farm (Co. Fermanagh)

    Best Adventure Activity Provider for Responsible Tourism

    • GOLD:Atlantic Sea Kayaking and Wild Atlantic Walks (Co. Cork)

    • SILVER:Life Adventure Centre (Co. Down), Boyne Valley Activities (Co. Meath)

    Overall Winner: Atlantic Sea Kayaking and Wild Atlantic Walks (Co. Cork)

    Congratulations to all the Gold and Silver winners!