Tourism Northern Ireland has celebrated completing its 12-week Destination Sustainability Training Programme with fifteen organisations across Northern Ireland, including two from our region, Life Adventure Centre and East Coast Adventure Centre,  who have taken important steps towards becoming more sustainable. The celebration event was hosted by David Gilliland of Brook Hall Estate and Gardens in Derry, an eighteenth-century demesne and home to one of NI’s top arboretums.

The innovative 12-week programme created a new opportunity for visitor attractions and experiences to confidently showcase sustainable tourism practices across Northern Ireland through peer-to-peer learning and business mentoring to inspire collective sustainable action.

Having commenced in January 2024, the 12-week programme delivered by The Tourism Space empowered businesses to become advocates for sustainable tourism experiences in Northern Ireland and to feel confident in sustainability and climate action by supporting them to manage their energy, water and waste consumption.

Participating businesses from our region included Life Adventure/Bike Mourne and East Coast Adventure.  

Some of the main outputs from the programme include the ability to measure carbon footprint and set meaningful targets for improvement, to have a Sustainability Action Plan, the ability to lead sustainable experience development and an understanding of Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs), Agenda 2030 and how to take action towards meeting these goals.

The programme created a cohort of businesses within various destinations across Northern Ireland who can lead on sustainability and sustainable experience developments. It included a blend of online and in-person training, including a learning journey meeting sustainable businesses across the Cuilcagh Lakelands UNESCO Geopark. The programme provided one-to-one mentoring support from expert practitioners, giving participants a holistic understanding of sustainability as well as a practical roadmap for ‘going green’ and reducing carbon emissions. Ten of the fifteen participating businesses have chosen to have their learning accredited by Munster Technological University.

Eimear Callaghan, Head of Experience and Industry Development at Tourism Northern Ireland said: “The purpose of the Destination Sustainability Training Programme was to empower businesses to activate positive contributions and make realistic changes to become more sustainable, which is so important for the longevity of our industry and the businesses within it.

“This pilot programme was hugely successful with a key output being the support provided to participant’s confidence in sharing their sustainability journey. Whilst there will be measurable benefits from a business perspective, the programme has also helped organisations to promote their sustainability initiatives in the tourism sphere, becoming increasingly attractive to visitors from key markets and in turn, supporting the development of the destination as an attractive place to visit.”

Life Adventure Centre
Activity Centre
Paddling boarding on Castlewellan Lake

Epic adventures are on offer all year round at Life Adventure Centre. Their extensive range of activities include mountain biking, stand-up paddleboarding, wet bouldering, rock climbing, sit on top kayaking, coasteering, electric biking and open canoeing - something for everyone!

East Coast Adventure Centre
Activity Centre
East Coast Adventure Centre

East Coast Adventure Centre - Newry & Mourne Mountain area. Water sports, Cycling, Hiking, School Activities - Family Fun - Glamping - a perfect location outside Rostrevor Village and 5 mins from Warrenpoint

Bike Mourne
Cycling and Mountain Biking
Cyclists on bikes from Bike Mourne, Newcastle admiring the Mourne Mountains from the Promenade, Newcastle, County Down

Experience the Mournes by bike on road, track and trail with the guided and self-guided bike and electric bike tours or do it yourself with bike and electric bike hire. Explore the majestic mountains, dramatic coasts, stunning landscapes, enchanting forests, award winning mountain bike trails and endless year-round cycle adventures.