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Local businesses successful in Irish Responsible Tourism Awards

12 March 2015

Three Northern Ireland tourism businesses have been successful in the 2015 Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, held last night in Dublin.

Responsible Tourism Awards

Tory Bush Cottages and Life Adventure Centre, both in County Down, and Orchard Acre Farm in County Fermanagh were all Silver award winners.

Tory Bush Cottages, consisting of nine self-catering cottages in the Mourne Mountains, achieved Silver in the Best Small Hotel or Accommodation for Responsible Tourism category. The business was commended for its investment in innovative sustainable design ( the enterprise is now 90% powered by non-fossil fuels), its positive contribution to local wildlife (with bee hives on site and planting to suit red squirrels), with the owner trained as a Geo Ambassador for the local Mourne Cooley Gullion geotourism region.

Life Adventure Centre, also based in the Mournes, was awarded Silver in the Best Adventure Activity Provider for Responsible Tourism. They use renewably produced electricity, use a biomass boiler, and use multi-seat vehicles for transport to reduce fuel consumption. In addition to providing adventure activities for tourists, day visitors and locals, they provide complimentary use of the centre and facilities for activity and sports clubs running local events. The business employs the principles of Leave No Trace and Fair Trade, and purchase locally.

Orchard Acre Farm, a farm diversification business, achieved Silver in the Best Local Food Initiative for Responsible Tourism category. Its eco barn is designed for energy conservation and the judges commended its 'Plot to Plate' ethos. The owners focus on experiential learning activities on food topics, for groups as diverse as hen parties and school groups and the business is an accredited centre of learning in horticulture.

This is the first year of the Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, which use the same criteria and judging processes as those used in the World Responsible Tourism Awards which have run since 2004. 

Find out more about Green Tourism in Northern Ireland.

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