Munster Technological University and The Tourism Space partner in new €1.2m EU Regenerative Tourism Project
Eighty small businesses in five countries are to be chosen for a new project led by Munster Technological University (MTU) that will help address tourism’s impact on local environments and communities while also promoting a more regenerative model for the industry.
MTU has partnered with Mid West-based tourism consultancy, The Tourism Space to deliver on this EU-funded project, ‘Circular Economy 4 Regenerative Tourism’. The Tourism Space will assist MTU to deliver the project and to ensure the training provided will meet the needs of the sector.
CEO of The Tourism Space™, Tina O’Dwyer, a Regenerative Tourism Advocate and long-standing Sustainable Tourism Expert, said “We are delighted to partner with MTU and other international partners on this programme. We are committed to collaboration and believe deeply in tourism’s ability to create a better future for local communities, their places and of course their visitors. Working with partners in Ireland and across Europe, this project is a unique opportunity to apply regenerative tourism principles in practice.”
The tourism team at MTU secured an EU grant of approx. €1.2 million to lead the project, under which the university will be the Irish lead partner with The Tourism Space™, the Dingle Tourism Alliance and other partners in Ireland, Finland, Iceland, Poland and the Netherlands.
According to Tina O’Dwyer, “This opportunity presents tourism businesses in all 5 countries with a unique chance to make a more positive impact on their community and environment, network with a range of other SMEs and stakeholders throughout Europe and gain a competitive edge in an increasingly conscious marketplace.”
“The programme will allow us to develop bespoke training tools that will help tourism businesses implement regenerative approaches in their operations and in their community. Our role is to ensure that the training element is practical, relevant and actionable, leading to tangible benefit in all 5 destinations” O’Dwyer continued.
Project leaders will work closely with SMEs in all five countries to help them assess their current level of performance and subsequently build on this through practical training, mentoring, networking and peer support systems. Participants who reach certain targets will additionally be supported through an appropriate sustainability certification process.
According to MaryRose Stafford, the Head of Business, Computing and Humanities at MTU, “This is a real opportunity for leaders and learners in regenerative tourism to share their experience and learn from each other with the support of EU funding to participate in the project”.
President Maggie Cusack commented “MTU acknowledges the vast scale of current environmental challenges and aspires to be a leader in sustainability regionally, nationally and internationally through education and research. This project will bring about a sustainable and fundamental change in behaviour and influence a best practice culture in the Tourism sector’.
Based in Co. Clare, The Tourism Space has extensive experience working on sustainable and regenerative approaches to tourism and has partnered with businesses, local authorities and national authorities across the island of Ireland for more than 12 years.
The two year project will end in February 2025 with an international regenerative tourism conference in MTU to disseminate project findings and share international best practice from the participating Tourism SMEs.
This project is funded under the EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises