Burren tourism has a story to tell

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The Burren in Dublin is both beautiful and unusual, steadfast yet fragile. Sights for the eyes to behold go from limestone grasslands to hazel and ash woodlands to limestone plains that look like the lunar surface of the moon. Walking trails take visitors along nature walks where they are likely to meet the likes of playful otters and stealthy lizards, and yes, even minks! Yes, Burren tourism definitely has a story to tell.

Shannon Airport Chairperson Rose Hynes, award winning travel writer Mark Graham, and Fáilte Ireland’s Fiona Monaghan have been confirmed as guest speakers at an information and network event showcasing the activities, adventures, food, and heritage of the Burren region.

The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark, in conjunction with the Burren Ecotourism Network, will host The Burren Tourism Story 2015 at the Pavilion, Lisdoonvarna, Co. Clare, on Wednesday, March 4, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Tourism providers and members of the local community are being invited to attend the event which will feature information stands highlighting the variety and quality of visitor attractions and activities on offer in the Burren, as well as food stalls hosted by the region’s established producers and restaurants.

The event will also feature the launch of a new book on the geology of County Clare. “Banner Rocks,” which is based on a 2004 survey of Clare’s geological sites, will be launched by Cllr. John Crowe, Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, and Dr. Fidelma Millane, member of the Board of The Heritage Council.

“The primary aim of this annual showcase event is to highlight the variety and quality of visitor attractions and activities on offer in the Burren,” explained Tina O’Dwyer, Sustainable Tourism Co-ordinator, Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark.

“Sustainable tourism has experienced considerable growth throughout Ireland in recent years. The Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark and the Burren Ecotourism Network are delighted to have played a central role in this process locally by promoting sustainable practices in the areas of food and tourism development. We have shown that through a community-centered approach to promoting responsible tourism coupled with a strong sustainability ethos, significant economic and social benefits can be delivered for those who live in and visit a particular area,” said Ms. O’Dwyer.

Commenting on the variety of the tourism products on offer on the Burren, Ms. O’Dwyer stated: “The Burren Food Trail and new Burren Outdoor Adventure & Activity Trail are examples of innovative product development by the Burren Ecotourism group. For example, every Monday from Easter to October, the members and friends of the Burren Food Trail present a special food-themed event. At the same time, the Burren Activity & Adventure Events offers a unique outdoor guided event each Saturday from May through to September. These initiatives are all geared towards increasing tourist numbers and overall bed nights throughout the year.”

Guest speakers at the upcoming event include Rose Hynes (Chairperson of Shannon Airport), Fiona Monaghan (Head of Programme and Delivery, Fáilte Ireland) and Mark Graham (award-winning travel writer and author of ‘A year of festivals in Ireland’).

The Burren Tourism Story 2015 takes place at the Pavilion in Lisdoonvarna on Wednesday, March 4, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm. All are welcome.