The Responsible Tourism Conference 2014

The Responsible Tourism Conference 2014
Event on 2014-03-19 09:30:00

The Responsible Tourism Conference 2014

This one-day conference aims to stimulate debate and discussion around the concept of responsible tourism and will be hosted by the Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism and the Green Hospitality Programme. The theme for this conference will be: 'What does responsible tourism have to offer Ireland?'

We are delighted to have a range of experienced international and national speakers who can offer a fascinating and insightful perspective on responsible tourism. 

The day will include an opportunity for discussion on the way forward for responsible tourism in Ireland, chaired by international responsible tourism expert Professor Harold Goodwin. 

The conference promises to be both an informative day of discussion and a key stage in the development of tourism in Ireland.  The key to the success of this day will be you. You have been invited because you are in a position to make a difference to the tourism industry in Ireland. Your presence at this event is important – join us to help make Ireland a better place to live in and to visit.

Who will speaking at this event?

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Lorena Arias, Guinness Storehouse
  • Maurice Bergin, Green Hospitality Programme
  • James Chilton, Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism
  • Robert Cleverdon, Tourism Development International
  • Carol Gleeson, Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark
  • Professor Harold Goodwin, Manchester Metropolitan University and International Centre for Responsible Tourism
  • Catherine Mack, Freelance Travel Writer specialising in Responsible Travel
  • David Mac Nulty, Tourism Development International
  • Paddy Mathews, Failte Ireland
  • Cillian Murphy, Loop Head Tourism
  • Mary White, Blackstairs Ecotrails

Who should attend this event?

People who operate at a strategic level within the Irish tourism industry including national and local government; trade representative bodies; hotel groups; major visitor attractions; destination management organisations, transport companies and non-governmental organisations – those who can make a difference and those who wish to learn more.

Owners or managers of tourism attractions, accommodation and services who wish to save money and attract more visitors through the adoption of a responsible approach to tourism.

What are the benefits of attending this event?

  • Gain an international perspective on the benefits of a responsible tourism approach
  • Learn about economic opportunities & marketing advantages associated with responsible tourism – how a responsible tourism approach can save and generate additional revenue
  • Learn about key initiatives happening in Ireland
  • Meet some of the key players in responsible tourism nationally and internationally
  • Discuss and debate key issues in responsible tourism and contribute to the future of responsible tourism in Ireland

When do I need to book my ticket by?

This event has limited capacity so if you are keen to attend we urge you to book your place quickly.

All those attending the conference will receive a conference pack plus refreshments and lunch at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel, Golden Lane.

What happens if I cannot attend?

For those unable to attend, a substitute participant may be sent at any time for no additional charge. Please confirm name change to before the event. Alternatively a refund will be given for cancellations received in writing or email, up to 14 days prior to the conference, less an administration charge of 25%. Regrettably no refunds can be made after that date.

Speaker Profiles

Lorena Arias

Projects Coordinator, Guinness Storehouse


For more information please visit

Maurice Bergin

Managing Director, Green Hospitality Programme, Ireland

Maurice Bergin runs the leading Hospitality Environmental Certification Programme in Ireland – Green Hospitality Programme. GHP offers certification to all hospitality & tourism businesses across the whole Island. Maurice has over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. He is a Graduate from Shannon College of Hotel Management, has an MSc in Hospitality Management from DIT and has studied in Cornell University. He has worked in and managed hotels in Ireland, UK, South Africa and Switzerland and also owned a Guesthouse and Restaurant. He brings extensive practical industry knowledge and understanding to the GHP.  For more information please visit

James Chilton

Strategic Tourism Planner and Director, Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism

James is a chartered town planner and strategic tourism consultant specialising in destination and product development. James has previously been employed as a director of a scuba diving school in London; as a regional recreation planner for New Zealand’s Department of Conservation and with Brady Shipman Martin in Dublin. James works as a freelance planner, providing advice to Fáilte Ireland and has worked on several significant projects with Tourism Development International such as identifying trails along the River Nore, the Grand Canal and the Royal Canal. James completed a report for Fáilte Ireland to determine best-practice and a methodological approach for sustainability appraisal of tourism destination plans. James has a long-standing interest in responsible tourism, completing an MSc in Tourism Conservation and Sustainable Development with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism in 2001.  For more information please visit

Robert Cleverdon

Director – International Projects, Tourism Development International

Robert Cleverdon has worked for over four decades as a consultant and educator in the fields of travel, tourism and leisure.  His experience covers not only theoretical and practical aspects of development and marketing planning but has also been obtained through working in many different types of country – 99 in total – and for both destinations (at multi-country regional, national, province/state/county and local levels) and private sector operators .e. airlines, tour operators, hotels).  His most recent product development and marketing strategic planning assignments – in the Caspian Sea region, Albania, India (Punjab), Tanzania, Romania, the UK (Anglesey), the Philippines (Northern Palawan), Honduras and the USA (South Carolina) – illustrate the breadth of geographic coverage.  He has published extensively on tourism market trends and forecasting both through the UN World Tourism Organisation – and in the publications of the Economist Intelligence Unit and Mintel.  In particular, he is the author of the Tourism 2020 Vision series of reports published in 1999/2000; while he is the joint author the 2011 Handbook on Tourism Product Development prepared for the European Travel Commission/UNWTO.  For more information please visit

Carol Gleeson

Manager, Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark, County Clare

Carol Gleeson is the manager of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark, a UNESCO recognised status for regions with outstanding geological and cultural heritage and a sustainable development programme that focuses primarily on sustainable tourism, conservation, research and education. Carol has many years of experience in the management of local authority and community based conservation, heritage and museum projects. She has also worked as an archaeologist and in exhibition design and development. The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark was shortlisted for the 'Best Destination in Responsible Tourism' in the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards and is a Finalist fo the 'Destination Award' in the 2014 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.  For more information please visit

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Dr Harold Goodwin

Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University and Founder Director of the International Centre for 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.   For more information please visit

David Mac Nulty

Director, Tourism Development International –[if gte mso 9]> [endif]–>

David was appointed Director of Tourism Development International in June 1990.  Prior to taking this position he was assistant manager of both the Burlington and Shelbourne Hotels. He has extensive experience in the field of countryside tourism, socio-economic studies and strategic planning and has been responsible for the direction of over 200 major tourism projects and has been responsible for many innovative projects including:

  • Waterford Crystal Visitor Centre Feasibility Study/Development Plan
  • Liffey Waterbus Feasibility Study
  • Capitalising on Dublin’s Potential – Tourism Plan for Dublin 2020
  • Explore the Nore Leisure Trail – Trail Kilkenny
  • Tourism, Recreation and Commercial Product Identification Plans for the Grand Canal/Royal Canal
  • Tourism Development and Marketing Plan for Visit Ballyhoura

For more information please visit

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Paddy Mathews

Destination Development Manager, Fáilte Ireland

Paddy Mathews is Manager of Experience Development at Fáilte Ireland with 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

Cillian Murphy

Chairperson, Loop Head Tourism, County Clare

Cillian worked as a fisherman and skipper until 1991, has worked in the hospitality trade since 1992 and has run Kilkee’s Murphy Black’s restaurant since 2004. The award-winning restaurant focuses on the use of high quality local food. Cillian co-founded Loop Head Tourism with John Williams in 2009 in order to develop an integrated community based approach to tourism development on the Loop Head peninsula.  This innovative approach bore fruit in 2010 when the peninsula was designated the Irish winner of EDEN, European Destination of Excellence.  Cillian is also a keen tri-athlete, racing sprint, Olympic, half Ironman and Ironman distances. He represented Ireland twice in 2010, at the ETU European Championships in Athlone and at the ITU World Championships in Budapest. The Loop Head Peninsula won the European EDEN award in 2010, was voted 'Best Place to Holiday in Ireland' by the Irish Times in 2013 and was shortlisted for 'Best Destination in Responsible Tourism' for the 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards. Visit or for more information on the Loop Head Peninsula.

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Mary White

Director, Blackstairs Ecotrails, County Carlow

Mary is Director of Blackstairs Ecotrails and has been guest speaker at environmental conferences and debates on the Irish environment. Her Ecotrails lead you through the wilderness of the Blackstairs Mountains and along the River Barrow.  She also runs Fungi, Foraging and Wild Herbal workshops around Ireland.  Mary has recently been appointed a Heritage Expert on the Heritage in Schools programme. She has written a Walk Guide to the Blackstairs and a DIY guide for environmental Campaigners Mount Leinster Environment Mining and Politics.  Mary was the first woman ever elected for the constituency of Carlow & Kilkenny and is a former Minister of Human Rights, Equality and Integration. Visit for more information.



Further Information

What is Responsible Tourism?

Responsible tourism can take many forms and different destinations or stakeholders in that destination can have different priorities however responsible tourism can be said to have the following common characteristics, it:

  • minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts;
  • generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the wellbeing of host communities, improves working conditions and access to the industry;
  • involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life changes;
  • makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, to the maintenance of the world's biodiversity;
  • provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
  • provides access for physically challenged people;
  • is culturally sensitive, engenders respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.

What is the Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism?

The Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism builds on the reputation and accomplishments of the ICRT Global Network, developing and promoting the concept of responsible tourism in Ireland.

The purpose of the Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism is to promote the principles and practices of responsible tourism through the following:

  • Lobby for the integration of responsible tourism into the policies, operations and activities of public institutions and tourism businesses.
  • Raise awareness of the benefits of responsible tourism for tourists, local communities, businesses and policy-makers in Ireland.
  • Undertake research and technical advisory services to drive the implementation of responsible tourism.
  • Facilitating networking between the public and private sectors in the promotion of responsible tourism development.

Ideally the ICRT in Ireland will be driven by the industry, highlighting best practice and acting as a hub for the promotion of the principles of responsible tourism – making Ireland a better place to live in and to visit. For more information please visit

What is the Green Hospitality Programme?

“Greening Irish Hospitality” is our focus and aim and the Green Hospitality Award (GHA) is now recognised as one of the most successful environmental certification programmes in Europe. This is a voluntary programme that demonstrates leadership in environmental management within the hospitality sector. Each successful member receives an award based on a set of strict criteria and can use the GHA Logo. (The Green Hospitality Award is a Type 1 Eco-Label as defined by the ISO – International Organisation for Standardisation).

Our members and label and award winners have committed themselves to actively managing their environmental footprint and are taking specific actions to minimise carbon emissions and reduce waste sent to landfill. Energy and water are managed throughout the properties, with many innovative and many simple actions being taken – many of which are applicable at home as well.

For more information please visit and

Why the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel?

The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel has state of the art conference facilities and a central Dublin location. Radisson Blu Hotels are also part of the Rezidor Hotel Group which 'aims to be a trusted industry leader for Responsible Business in our interactions with all of our stakeholders including: owners, developers, partners, guests, employees and the local communities in which we operate'.

Rezidor Responsible Business programme is built on three pillars:

  • Think Planet: Minimising our impact on the environment
  • Think People: Taking care of the health and safety of guests and employees
  • Think Together: Respecting socal and ethical issues in the company and the communities in which we operate.

In 2013, for the 4th year running Rezidor was named one of the worlds most ethical companies.

Rezidor believe eco-labels provide an external confirmation of their hotels environmental performance and have a target of 100% hotels having an eco-label by 2015, with over 65% currently having a label.

The Radison Blu Royal Hotel has recieved a Gold Award from the Green Hospitality Programme.

For more information on the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel please visit

at Radisson SAS Royal Hotel Dublin
Golden Lane Dublin 8
Dublin, Ireland

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