19th April 2024

Mourne Gullion Strangford hosts tourism providers from neighbouring aspiring Geopark

Internationally UNESCO Global Geoparks promote the economic development of Geoparks through sustainable tourism. UNESCO also encourages networking between geoparks to improve collaboration, particularly across borders where it can help peace-building processes.

In a recent exchange trip funded by the Shared Island Civic Society Fund, tourism providers from the Joyce Country and Western Lakes aspiring Geopark travelled to meet their counterparts in the Mourne Gullion Strangford Geopark.

An important opportunity for knowledge sharing and learning; this partnership between the two Geoparks aimed to create stronger and sustainable cross-border civic relationships, opening opportunities for collaboration and partnership working.

During their visit, the representatives from the Joyce Country and Western Lakes aspiring Geopark, visited tourism operators, businesses and locations across the Mourne Gullion Strangford Geopark discussing the challenges of sustainable tourism, learning about tourism experiences that are currently being successfully delivered and the difficulties that have overcome during the process.

After meeting with the tourism representatives of both Geoparks, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Deputy Chairperson, Councillor Gareth Sharvin, said,

“The tourism businesses who operate within our Geopark are vitally important to us. Mourne Gullion Strangford Geopark has internationally significant geology, but one of the things which makes it so special is that we have such a vast array of tourism providers delivering authentic experiences, acting as Ambassadors for the Geopark, promoting an appreciation for our natural, built, and cultural heritage while supporting the sustainable economic development of the area. It is the passion, commitment and drive of our local tourism Ambassadors which is so special to the visitor experience in Mourne Gullion Strangford Geopark. He continued, “I was delighted to meet the group from the Joyce Country and Western Lakes aspiring Geopark, this exchange is a wonderful way for the two Geoparks to share the successes and learn with each other, enhancing both our tourism offerings.”

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