Inspiring Sustainable Tourism


Our annual Inspiring Sustainable Tourism Conference is a thought provoking, educational and inspritaional day with amazing speakers.

This event is a must for future-focused tourism businesses that want to improve their sustainability credentials.

It’s packed with insights from both international and Irish leaders in their fields.

Filled with practical advice, as well as inspiration from business owners that have transformed their operations and taken the lead in responsible, sustainable and regenerative tourism.

Following the huge success of our 2023 conference, we are thrilled to be back hosting our Inspiring Sustainable Tourism event in person on Thursday 25 Jan 2024 at The Ardiluan Hotel Galway. This years theme is all about Climate Action, Community and Collaboration. See our speakers below.

Our fantastic line-up includes:

Dianne Dredge, Founder of the Tourism CoLab

Keynote: From stakeholders to careholders

Dianne Dredge is one of those people who walks towards trouble in tourism. She is not only a changemaker and rulebreaker, she also holds space for others wishing to do the same. She is curious about what makes people lean in and become change agents or why they run away. Dianne shares key insights from the neuroscience of change, her practice in deep community engagement, and working with the trouble so that we can transform tourism for positive impact. Dianne is the Founder of online tourism education agency and consultancy, the Tourism CoLab. Dianne has worked with everyone from small community groups to huge organisations like the OECD, and is focused on inspiring meaningful change making. [Remote speaker.]

Colm O’Regan, Comedian

Laughing Your Way to Action

Colm O’Regan is worried about All The Terrible Environment News. But in a bid to turn fear into hope and action, he promises to lead you on a comedic dance as he grapples with Everything Being Broken and how he (and you!) might start to help. Along the way, find out what Greta Thunberg in common with Irish aul lads, how to harness the power of Liveline and a simple trick for the first step in Doing A Bit.

Louise Byrne, Killarney Coffee Cup Scheme & Killarney Park Hotel

Killarney’s Journey To Becoming Single-Use Coffee Cup Free

Louise Byrne has led the charge in transforming her town. Since July 2023, Killarney has virtually eliminated its use of 23,000 single-use cups weekly, saving over a million cups annually. Louise believes that with determination, similar projects can flourish anywhere. Over 50 local businesses have joined this campaign, and Louise will outline the project’s process, involving face-to-face meetings, research, negotiations, community gatherings, video campaigns, and ongoing discussions.

Charlie Cotton, ecollective

Understand Your Carbon Footprint, Reduce It Effectively & Save Money

Charlie Cotton is a carbon geek with a gift for explaining carbon emissions in layman’s terms and how to reduce them. He has helped numerous organisations understand where their footprints come from and how to reduce them. He is the founder of ecollective, a carbon consultancy focused on measuring and reducing your organisation’s carbon footprint.

Martha Farrell, Maharees Conservation Association

How One Small Community Took on Climate Action and Transformed Their Future

Martha Farrell is a founding member of coastal community group Maharees Conservation Association. It has had huge success protecting the unique coastline & natural heritage of the Maharees in Kerry, raising awareness of the cultural & ecological importance of the area & ensuring the viability of the Maharees community and its tourism businesses. The association collaborates with Kerry County Council, NUI Galway, NPWS, Clean Coasts an Taisce, Munster Technological University & University of Limerick. Martha will talk about this inspiring &effective collaborative work.

Kris Claes, Owner, Slieve Elva B&B

Slieve Elva’s Sustainability Transformation

Kris Claes bought Slieve Elva B&B in the Burren, Co Clare, with his wife Ireen, in 2014. The business became the first B&B in Ireland to achieve Sustainable Travel Ireland’s prestigious gold standard of certification in May 2023. Kris will discuss 10 years of transformation at the B&B, including the environmental changes, the €8,000 saved and how taking a broad-spectrum approach and working towards certification embedded them in their community and improved their business’s reputation.

Lisa Moran, Sustainability Marketing & Communications Manager, Powerscourt Estate

Powerscourt Estate’s Sustainability Mission

The vision for Powerscourt Estate is be known as an iconic Irish sustainable visitor attractions, which is recognised on a global stage as a place of immense beauty and biodiversity. Initiatives have included an integrated energy management system, a waste reduction plan, and biodiversity initiatives like wildflower meadows, a tree-planting programme, and a bee sanctuary in the walled gardens. In 2023, Powerscourt Estate, Gardens and Waterfall become Ireland’s first visitor attraction to be certified by Sustainable Travel Ireland. Their long-term mission is to be Net Zero by 2025. Lisa will discuss the ongoing sustainability journey.

Barry Flanagan, Owner, Erne Water Taxi

The Evolution of Erne Water Taxi

Barry has brought over 20,000 people by boat out on Lough Erne to enjoy its heritage and landscape. His luxury trips are led by a local guide who tells the story of a unique and beautiful landscape. In 2021, he invested in the first fully electric passenger boat on the island of Ireland. It is also powered by solar. He also has a boat that is wheelchair accessible, making the experience more accessible. A big believer in collaboration, he has forged strong relationships with many local attractions and businesses. Barry will talk about how he wants all people to be able to experience the special Lough Erne landscape, its calming effect and its rich history. And he’ll talk about the importance of collaboration, community and culture.

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