More than 200 tourism businesses are expected to attend the event on 14 November from across the country, with Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin TD inaugurating the event.
In her opening address, Minister Catherine Martin said, "The climate crisis is a monumental challenge, but it is one that we can overcome together if we are equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and resolve. This is what Fáilte Ireland’s national conference on climate action for tourism businesses is about – learning from each other and supporting one another with practical tools that will help businesses navigate their climate action journey.
"A key issue in the new national Sustainable Tourism policy will be the tourism sector’s contribution to meeting national and international policy commitments on climate change, including national emissions reduction requirements. The new policy will also have to consider how public investment can promote and support the development of a sustainable tourism sector."
The conference will offer practical support for measuring and reducing the carbon footprint of tourism businesses.
In 2021, the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act set legally binding emission reduction targets of 51% by 2030 through fixed Sectoral Emissions Ceilings aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions for each economic sector.
Climate Action Business Guide
Fáilte Ireland has developed eight Climate Action business guides for the sector to help businesses make practical operational changes to reduce their carbon footprint.
It includes energy efficiency, improved water and food management systems, biodiversity opportunities, and delivering sustainable meetings, events and festivals, among others.
Businesses will also be introduced to the ‘Climate4Business Toolkit’, a carbon calculator developed by the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment with support from Fáilte Ireland and other agencies.
The user-friendly measurement tool will allow tourism businesses to calculate their carbon footprint using an internationally recognised carbon reporting framework.
Panel discussions with industry members will focus on best practices and experiences, while international guest speakers Ed Gillespie and Sue Williams will share their insights and expertise.
As part of Fáilte Ireland’s marketing plans for 2023, it will allocate €500,000 to showcase best-in-class sustainable attractions, activity providers and tourism experiences.
Paul Kelly, CEO of Fáilte Ireland, said, "Our Climate Action Guides will provide businesses with proactive steps which they can take towards developing a truly sustainable tourism offering. Businesses will also hear about an analysis we are undertaking of sustainable certification opportunities for businesses.
"A recommended framework, which will allow our marketing and commercial development teams to create new sales and marketing opportunities for sustainable tourism businesses."
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