Upcoming seminar on the future of sustainable tourism and hospitality in Wicklow

An online seminar organised by The Green Party’s Wicklow arm will take place on June 23rd at 7pm, open to anyone interested or involved with hospitality or tourism industries in Wicklow.

The party have teamed up with local chef Tadgh Byrne, who will host the event, for a night of networking and learning with three guest speakers.

Tadgh Byrne said: “The coming years hold great potential for those involved in the hospitality and tourism sectors in Co. Wicklow. This event will bring together those wishing for booming, yet sustainable futures for these industries, to learn and to share ideas.

“There will be some local politicians and representatives from key organisations at the event, so we have a chance to help stear future policy for these industries. We are hoping the Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin, a Green Party member, will be able to come along or send a representative.”

The Guest Speakers

Lauren Keogh from Sustainable Travel Ireland will give tips on sustainable tourism and outline how local businesses can achieve internationally recognised sustainability certification. Sustainable Travel Ireland is Ireland’s leading and longest-running body for the promotion of sustainable and responsible tourism.

The group has been training and certifying businesses since 2009. Their internationallyrecognised certification standard is the only set of criteria used in Ireland to be recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

“Sustainable Travel Ireland is a profit-for-purpose company. Our purpose is simple! We want to transform the Irish tourism industry into one that respects and protects the environment, but also supports local communities and makes better places for people to live and work in,” Lauren Keogh said.

Pamela Walsh, Chairperson of Wicklow Naturally will discuss the achievements and future goals of the county’s official food and drink network and the benefits of shopping local.

‘Wicklow Naturally’ is the food and drink brand championing the County’s food and drink producers. It is formed by a collaboration of food and drink representatives, Wicklow County Council, the Local Enterprise Office, County Wicklow Partnership and LEADER, following the launch of the county’s food and drink strategy in 2019.

Pamela Walsh said: “At Wicklow Naturally, we work together to develop the brand as positive, sustainable and environmentally conscious, by showcasing the finest food and drink from this part of Ireland’s Ancient East”

Sr. Colette from The Ecology Centre in Wicklow Town will talk about sustainable hospitality, organic food and farm-to-fork dining. An Tairseach is an Organic Farm & Ecology Centre, with a mission to raise awareness of the place of the human as part of the web of life, through practice and education.

An Tairseach farm acquired organic status in 2006 through a culmination of several years of intensive work – clearing the soil of chemicals, restoring its fertility, improving hedgerows, laying out pathways and planting thousands of trees. The farm now produces an abundance of organic vegetables as well as organic beef and pork. There is also a wildlife conservation area and a thriving woodland.

The organic farm shop at An Tairseach sells an array of beautiful produce including home grown vegetables, fruit and meat, other organic produce by local suppliers as well as whole foods, store cupboard ingredients and ecological toiletries and household cleaning supplies. This really is your one stop shop for a weekly or bi-weekly shop.

An Tairseach has a range of facilities suitable for individuals and groups that can be rented on an hourly, half day or day long basis. A 10% discount is offered to use by community and voluntary groups.

“We aim to improve the long term ecological health of the farm and manage the farm and centre towards economic, social and environmental sustainability. We hope to create awareness of good ecological practice for all those who come into contact with the farm and the centre,” Sr. Colette said.

To attend the seminar, visit its Zoom link on June 23rd at 7pm.

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