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Am I eligible to be a member of the Burren Ecotourism Network?
To be eligible for membership of the Network, a tourism enterprise must:
1. Be located in the catchment area
2. Commit to the Geopark Sustainable Code of Practice for Tourism
Achieving sustainable standards in tourism is a key principle of the Network. It is vital that businesses can demonstrate a fundamental level of sustainable practices before accessing the benefits of membership. This level is defined in the Geopark Sustainable Code of Practice for Tourism.
This Code requires tourism enterprises to develop an Environmental Policy and Environmental Action Plan for their business and to implement certain practices in the areas of energy consumption, waste management, water conservation and protection.
It also addresses areas such as responsible marketing, visitor interpretation, green purchasing, and sustainable transport. Importantly it requires all businesses to complete Geopark Leave No Trace Awareness Training and to observe Leave No Trace principles at all times (specialised Leave No Trace training is provided).
A highly practical training programme will provide you with a step-by-step guide towards achieving the Code. Download PDF Geopark Sustainable Code of Practice
Benefits of Network Membership
1. Networking Forum
Avail of focused networking opportunities with like-minded tourism enterprises in the region – generate mutual referrals, develop innovative visitor experiences and packages, share knowledge and ideas and build relationships and friendships.
2. Conservation & Advocacy Forum
Become part of conservation and advocacy activities that serve to protect and conserve our natural and cultural heritage, as well as to build knowledge and understanding of the unique landscape in which we live and work.
3. Sustainable Tourism Training & Networking Programme
- Geopark Sustainable Code of Practice Training Programme: gain the practical skills and tools to make your business ‘greener’, more sustainable and more cost-effective.
- Geopark Enterprise Support Programme: enhance your marketing and networking capacity, develop your business planning and which will ultimately improve your marketing effectiveness and overall competitiveness.
4. Destination Marketing & Promotion Strategy
Under the umbrella brand “Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark”, businesses can work together to truly differentiate this destination by making sustainability a driver of competitive advantage.
Key benefits of this strategy are:
- Tourism Partners of the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark: Business are an official Tourism Partner, and have the right to display the Geopark logo on marketing and promotional materials.
- Business Profile on visitor website www.burren.ie: get a full business profile; list full details of any packages and events you have; promote your business on the news section, special offer section and events calendar.
- Business Profile Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark Website and App: a detailed listing on the website www.burrengeopark.ie and on the Geopark app.
- Social Media Activity: leverage the social media activity of both the Burren Ecotourism Network and the Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark.
- Trade Relationship: have your visitor experiences included in sample itineraries and holiday plans for the region which will be presented on your behalf to relevant trade partners.
- Media Profile: The Network and Geopark actively works on securing national and international public relations and media coverage, with significant success in this area to date.
What Contribution would I have to make?
While membership of the Network brings considerable benefits, network members are also expected to contribute to the success of the Network. A genuine commitment to the principles of sustainable tourism and to continuous improvement in this area is essential.
Members are invited to participate in one of the sub-committees which work on marketing, networking or conservation and advocacy projects. A spirit of sharing and collaboration is essential if the Network is to thrive and it is therefore important that members participate in a certain amount of the available training and networking events.
The Network invites businesses to achieve the Geopark Sustainable Code of Practice for Tourism as an entry point for membership. It asks members to work towards achieving a network-recognised third party certification label within 24 months. To maximise marketing and business opportunities, members are expected to correctly use and display logos and related materials, to link to the visitor website, and to actively promote and support Network initiatives.
How much does membership cost ?
The Network reviews its membership fees annually. Fees for 2017:
1 – 3 Employees €350
4– 8 Employees €500
9- 20 Employees €750
21 + Employees €1000
Partners 1 – 3 Employees €297.50
Partners 4– 8 Employees €425.00
Partners 9– 20 Employees €637.50
Food trail and Activity Friends €200
This annual fee entitles members and/or their staff to access more than 20 different training and networking events, as well as inclusion in all marketing and promotional activities.
No further fees will be requested during the year.
When can I become a member?
The Network will welcome up to 30 new enterprises in January of each year.
Through the GeoparkLIFE programme, interested businesses will be able to complete the Geopark Sustainable Code of Practice Training programme between October and January of each year and thereby satisfy the eligibility requirements for membership in time for the January intake.
Businesses who engage in the Geopark Sustainable Code of Practice training programme are asked to make a nominal contribution of €50 towards the cost of training.
What are the benefits from becoming a friend of the network?
If you are unsure if you should become a full member or not we invite you to join us as a Friend of The Network for the first year, you will be able to participate in all networking events, your business will be listed in this website with a link to your own website (please note you will not have a full profile on the website just a listing), we will help you promote your business in our social media channels and you will be invited to attend some of the training sessions should there be spaces available.
Please note businesses can only be friends of the network for one year, after which you will be given the option to become a full member.
How can I apply?
For full information on the training programme and to obtain an application form, please contact Christy Sinclair , Sustainable Tourism Co-ordinator, Burren Ecotourism Network email@example.com
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