B.E.N. is a network of tourism enterprises with the objective of establishing the Burren as a premier internationally-recognised sustainable tourism region ensuring the future economic and social growth and sustainable development of its communities, environment and heritage. It seeks to support continued training, mentoring and accreditation in sustainable tourism for its members and for businesses interested in joining the Network.
The Network aims to be a recognisable network of enterprises in the Burren, who have achieved independent accreditation, demonstrate ecotourism ‘best practice’, positively discriminate in each other’s favour, provide ‘one voice’ representation on issues impacting the Burren (where appropriate), and inspire conservation activism.
The Burren Ecotourism Network and the Geopark have enjoyed a special relationship since 2008, when the Burren Connect Project first instigated the establishment of the Network. The two organisations now work in partnership, having agreed in late 2012 to pool their resources in pursuit of their common objective. Both organisations are committed to the promotion of responsible tourism that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people. They work together to promote ‘The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark’ as a leading sustainable visitor destination, celebrated for high standards in visitor experience, conservation and learning.
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The Burren & Cliffs of Moher region has achieved UNESCO-supported Global Geopark Status in recognition of the region’s significant geological, ecological and cultural value, as well as its sustainable tourism practices.
Global Geoparks focus on developing their regions as sustainable tourism destinations.
The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark (formerly the Burren Connect Project) has attracted EU Life funding and a partnership between conservation and tourism interests in the region to develop policies, models and standards in sustainable tourism destination development.
This programme is known as GeoparkLIFE and will run from 2013-2017.