RT Businesses

This section lists places where information can be found about tourism businesses who have made a concerted effort to improve the way in which their business in run - reducing environmental impacts and increasing benefits for the local community and for conservation.

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  • Discover Ireland ‘Stay Green’

    Fáilte Ireland's website www.discoverireland.ie contains a section marketing accommodation with a responsible ethos called 'Stay Green'.

    This contains information on over 200 tourism accommodation businesses which either:

    • have the Green Hospitality Award,
    • are members of the Green Tourism Business Scheme; and/or
    • have the EU Flower certification;

    Accommodation providers range from caravan and camping parks right through to the high-end resort hotels including self-catering; holiday homes; farmhouses; apartments and hotels.

    W: www.discoverireland.ie/Where-To-Stay/Features/Stay-Green

  • Green Tourism Business Scheme

    Green Tourism Business Scheme

    The Green Tourism Business Scheme has become the first sustainable certification programme of its kind to be endorsed by all five of the National Tourism Agencies of the UK and Ireland.

    The scheme, which started in Scotland 15 years ago, has been independently validated by the International Centre for Responsible Tourism (ICRT) on behalf of VisitEngland, VisitWales and the Northern Ireland Tourist Board, and endorsed by VisitScotland and Failte Ireland.  Having grown to almost 2,500 members the Perth-based scheme is already the biggest in the world with influence that reaches from North America to New Zealand.

    GTBS is operational in all regions of the UK and Ireland with over 1,350 certified businesses in England, 800 in Scotland, 100 in Wales, 50 in Ireland and 15 in Northern Ireland.  The GTBS provides consumers with an independent guide to hotels, bed & breakfasts, tourist attractions and visitor centres which are actively trying to help the environment.  Business get bespoke advice by qualified sustainable tourism assessors and can save on average 20% of their running costs in the first year.

    According to Dr Xavier Font of Leeds Metropolitan University's International Centre for Responsible Tourism, which carried out the sustainable tourism certification validation for VisitEngland, VisitWales and Northern Ireland Tourist Board, the growth of the GTBS has been "remarkable".

    "With over 2,400 certified businesses in Britain and Ireland, the Green Tourism Business Scheme is the largest sustainable tourism certification in the world. The scheme has been running since 1997 as a non-profit organisation, offering outstanding value for money to applicants, with clear guidance materials and support systems, and a high market exposure," said Dr Font in his newly published report.  "It differs from other programmes by employing only full time staff including auditors, which increases its quality systems and consistency."

    Membership Fees

    There is a one-off joining fee of £59 + VAT

    Annual fees are dependent on the size of business and range from £90 - £576 + VAT / year

    Check Membership Fees  for all fee sheets (Listed under Join England at the moment)

    Benefits - Marketing and Promotion

    GTBS members are listed on and included in Green Searches on the following websites

    • Visit Britain's UK & 40+ foreign language sites
    • Visit Scotland, Visit England, Visit Wales, NITB and Failte Ireland
    • UK Destination Management Organisations e.g. Go Lakes, Broads, Cairngorms 
    • Booking Services International (BSI)
    • Sabre Holdings sites including Travelocity
    • Expedia
    • Inntel

    Benefits - Cost Savings

    There are significant cost savings and other benefits to be made through GTBS membership

    • Full environmental audit of business
    • Bespoke advice on cost savings appropriate to business (on average 20%)
    • Action plan, recommendations, advice and support on measures to implement
    • Membership of GTBS and all on-going benefits & support
    • Monthly Technical Newsletter
    • Members area with 60+ technical factsheets
    • Technical advice / helpline / support
    • Suppliers Discounts

    More info:


  • ResponsibleTravel.com


    responsibletravel.com is the world's leading company for responsible holidays. They have sold $100million worth of holidays since the company launched in 2001. The site works with over 1,000 tourism suppliers to help market over 4,000 richer, deeper and more locally distinctive travel experiences that are better for destinations and local communities. The responsibletravel.com website provides details of a wide range of Irish tourism businesses.

    Whether you're after an action-packed adventure, a relaxing beach escape or a charming countryside getaway closer to home, there's something to suit all tastes and budgets.

    Co-founder, Justin Francis launched the site with backing from Dame Anita Roddick in 2001 and since then has been included in Courvoisier's The Future 500, Thames and Hudson's 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future, responsibletravel.com also campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.

    Market your  accommodation on responsibletravel.com for FREE

    Accommodation providers can now avail of a free service to market their business on the responsibletravel.com site. Click on the link below and build your page directly:


    Total bookings of £80 million
    350,000 monthly site visitors
    Database of 146,000 bookers and enquirers that we send e-magazines to
    631,304 booking enquiries and counting
    4,000+ holidays
    5,000+ traveller reviews

    W: www.responsibletravel.com

  • Green Traveller (Ireland)

    The excellent greentraveller website provides information on how to have a greener holiday. They feature hundreds of destinations that can be reached by train and ferry as well as a wide range of green accommodation, tours and activities. The website gives information on for many different countries including Ireland.

    The website also has a great range of articles by well informed writers including Catherine Mack who wrote the following article on Tips for the first time visitor to Ireland.

  • Ireland Green Travel app by Catherine Mack

    This travel app, published in March 2011, has over 120 entries of 'green' things to do, places to stay and ways of getting around without a car in Ireland. Commissioned and published by Sutro Media, the app has been very well reviewed by users and by the travel press. The app will be updated free of charge for those who purchase it.

    Find it here.

  • Ecotourism Ireland

    Ecotourism Ireland

    Ecotourism Ireland is an organisation set up to stimulate the development of ecotourism country wide. The Ecotourism Ireland label has been developed in conjunction with: Failte Ireland, Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (DARD), and the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS).

    Ecotourism Ireland have set up an ecolabel which can be applied to travel and tourism products that are nature based and have an element of interpretation involved. The accepted definition of ecotourism is 'responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people' (The International Ecotourism Society TIES).

    Examples of businesses which are suitable for this ecolabel are guided wildlife tours, nature based training courses, instructed outdoor activity, food trails, archaeology tours, hill walking trips etc.

    The label has been designed to be a graduated type award which can communicate differrent levels of achievement to travellers. (i.e. Gold, Silver, Bronze stars and also an awareness level whereby a business attends sufficent training and applies Ecotourism principles to their business and communicates this to their customers).

    The nature of Ecotourism Education is best delivered to networks or at destination level where a group of businesses decided that tey wish to evelop their products based on this ethos. The label was been piloted in Burren, Co. Clare with Burren Ecotourism Network 2010 and East Galway in 2011. In many areas the local support of Leader companies and Failte Ireland can be the first step to get some support and resources for delivering cost-effective training. A key aspect of training is networking and mentoring the business.

    For further details contact Mary Mulvey - Ecotourism Ireland

    T: 071 985 6898 or 087 684 1531

    E: mary@ecotourismireland.ie

    W: www.ecotourismireland.ie