Start date: Dec 31, 2005,
End date: Dec 30, 2008
The Greenbox is a defined area in the North West of Ireland and is regarded as Ireland’s only developing Eco Tourism Destination. During the lifetime of this 3 year cross-border project the project has been able to promote the establishment of the target area as an ecotourism destination, a conceptual and spatial ‘Green Box’ containing environmentally sustainable products, accommodation and attractions within a context of clean natural resources. The type of tourism products and activity generated has a minimal impact on the ecology of the area, is of benefit tothe community and matches the needs of environmentally friendly visitors and in doing so haveencouraged economic development through low impact tourism.The Greenbox Project has become the role model in Ireland for ecotourism, sustainable tourism and rural tourism development. When the project began in 2002 there were no coherent sustainable tourism or ecotourism policies existing in Ireland, yet now the project has been successful in promoting the area to the worldwide market. The website www.greenbox.ie has put together a range of Irish Ecotourism packages which has resulted in the creation of a strong niche tourism brand in Ireland. Visitor numbers to the site are encouraging, with a sample month seeing on average 5000 hits, with 18% of these returning.The project trained accommodation providers for the upsurge in interest in the area and were the first in Ireland to offer the EU Flower – an eco label, a guide to greener products and services. It is a voluntary scheme designed to encourage businesses to market products and services that are kinder to the environment and for European consumers - including public and private purchasers - to easily identify them.Given its record of delivery over the last three years, the Greenbox organisation has built up a substantial level of knowledge in ecotourism and sustainable tourism field andit is making this knowledge and best practice available to others in the tourism industry. The Greenbox is a completely unique region and was a natural location for Ireland’s first ecotourism destination. It boasts unique ecosystems, an unspoiled landscape and significant centres of learning. These factors have contributed to attracting a high concentration of green and ecotourism products to the region and have succeeded in demonstrating the long term positive effects of EU INTERREG funding to the border region.
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