The quality of the environment, both natural and man-made, is essential to tourism. Our scenic landscapes, coastline, rivers and lakes are the bedrock on which Irish tourism has been built. Furthermore the economic viability and competitiveness of the industry will only be sustained if the quality of these resources is maintained.
Ireland’s environment remains of generally good quality, though it is subject to potentially damaging pressures from a range of activities. As a result of continued economic development and changing consumer patterns these pressures have grown significantly over the past decade. There are also a number of key environmental challenges facing Ireland in the coming years; limiting and adapting to climate change; reversing environmental degradation; mainstreaming environmental considerations and complying with environmental legislation and agreements.
Ireland already has a strong brand which has strong associations with the environment and all things green. Given the increased consumer and corporate awareness of the impact of climate change there are opportunities to develop and promote the country as a carbon neutral tourism destination. Already Fáilte Ireland and Tourism Ireland are actively involved in a number of initiatives to assist and work with the Industry in exploiting this ‘green’ potential.
This ENVIRONMENT MATTERS section on the ITIC website will highlight from time to time relevant information, invite comments and submissions on various environmental issues, and it will try to cut through some of the green noise which abounds. The JARGON BUSTER section of the site will develop and become an easy reference point for much of the jargon which pervades the ‘environmental industry’. Certain tourism development can gradually destroy the environmental resources on which it depends. On the other hand, tourism has the potential to create beneficial effects on the environment by contributing to environmental protection and conservation.
Over the coming weeks and months you will receive ezines which are designed to inform and enlighten, in as non-technical a way as is possible, on many environmental issues from complex global warming to simple village renewal schemes. We hope that in time this section of our website will become a source of useful, easily accessible information.
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August 25th 2009