Sustainable management of tourist attractions in Ireland : the development of a generic sustainable management checklist
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This thesis centres on the analysis of the sustainable management of visitor attractions in Ireland and the development of a tool to aid attraction managers to becoming sustainable tourism businesses. Attractions can be the focal point of a destination and it is important that they are sustainably managed to maintain future business. Fáilte Ireland has written an overview of the attractions sector in Ireland and discussed how they would drive best practice in the sector. However, there have still not been any sustainable management guidelines from Fáilte Ireland for tourist attractions in Ireland. The principal aims of this research was to assess tourism attractions in terms of water, energy, waste/recycling, monitoring, training, transportation, biodiversity, social/cultural sustainable management and economic sustainable management. A sustainable management checklist was then developed to aid attraction managers to sustainability within their attractions, thus saving money and the environment. Findings from this research concluded that tourism attractions in Ireland are not sustainably managed and there are no guidelines, training or funding in place to support these attraction managers in the transition to sustainability. Managers of attractions are not aware or knowledgeable enough in the area of sustainability. Education and training from bodies such as Fáilte Ireland, the EPA or local county councils, is paramount for these managers if they are to sustain and carry a viable and profitable business into the future, while helping to protect the environment. If tourism is to stimulate the economy in Ireland and provide jobs for generations to come, then tourism attractions must be developed sustainably. Cost savings are imperative for attractions in this economic climate. Once environmental action is in place, attractions can apply for certification with the hope of achieving an eco label, thus strengthening their competitive stance in the tourism destination.
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