Sunday, 20 November 2005

Sustainable tourism on the Causeway Coast

Ok, in an effort to kick start my work on this paper I’m doing, going to ramble on here a bit. (Have I mentioned I seem to have writer’s block…grrrrr.) Using a case study, I have to write a paper exploring sustainable tourism in a particular destination. I’ve chosen the Causeway coast in Northern Ireland. Pretty much all of my research to date has been on destinations/tourism in Northern Ireland, mainly because of a) my interest and b) the fact that the destination is growing in popularity, therefore there is so much opportunity for development. So, sustainable tourism can be related to many things—preserving landscape and culture, maintaining and/or creating more efficient ways of operating in regards to money saving measures, as well as environmentally friendly practices. My main interest is the first bit. While in Portrush last year and traveling around to different places in Northern Ireland during the height of the tourist season, I noticed a huge difference in number of tourists and hectic nature of tourist attractions down South vs. up North. The craziness of the South has not yet reached the North, but it will soon enough. The issue then is how will the North maintain it’s landscape and heritage/culture when this does happen. What measures can be taken in preparation? This is part of what I’ll be exploring.

1 comment:

Suzer said...

You’re up and at it early today. Or is it that you haven’t yet gone to sleep? Anyway glad to see you attempting to get back at the writing both here and on the school stuff. Perhaps you’re getting past the writer’s block?? Hope so for your sake!

By the way, it’s amazing how a thoughtful rather than a combative approach will work in solving conflict. e.g. noisy folks in the kitchen.

Commented by muddiah on November 19, 2005 at 4:47 pm

I suppose what immediately comes to mind is the question of “does this area really want tourism, and is it prepared to deal with it?” because firstly, I think the people need to be convinced themsleves that it’s what they want. I can see the attractive side to the industry being the money, and the possible interest the governmetn may take in developing the area for everyone’s benefit, however the other side to things is the inevitable tole that tourism takes on an area. The locals quickly become weary of being “the happy go lucky Irish people” and are faced to deal with “rude americans” who’ve never been out of their own country and are so excited to be in “Ireland” that this excitement gets mistaken for rudeness, arrogance, and seen as a threat somehow to the local’s dignity and they want people to see their country as more than just shamrocks and riverdance dancers. The overall morall of the locals decreases over time, and often, the quality of the service decreases, and the irratiablity of the tourists increases, and it become a vicious cycle.

I’d say the best thing would be, to take after areas of the South which have been remote enough to escape this trap. Places like Doolin in County Claire, and some of the outlying villages in Dingle. There shopping isn’t great, but you can hear the best music see some of the most beautiful scenery in the land.

Let the area major in what it’s truely good at, whatever that may be, and major on that. Develop something that looks to genuinely give tourists a great time, while maintaining the dignity of the locals so both parties win.
So an example would be,
-quality accomodation with sensitivity to first time international
travelers, and excellent comfort food. (for the tourists)
-a genuine but attractive experience (for the tourists)
-look after the environment (for the locals)
-don’t make the locals be something they are not for the sake of “the tourist industry”
Let the countryside speak for itself.
-make the locals aware of American traveling idiosyncrisies so they do not take offence.

This is just ramblings…but hope it makes sense

Commented by evenstarlight on November 20, 2005 at 7:31 pm

sorry my spelling is really bad tonight………i didn’t go back to edit!

Commented by evenstarlight on November 20, 2005 at 7:33 pm

Sounds like you should be working on a degree in Tourism Development;) A lot of what you mention is related, although of course, the first thing looked at and the goal is $$$. I guess that is where sustainability comes into play, in regards to the culture, and of course the environment. Not much time to ramble on now, but will perhaps post some of my essay when it’s done. Have one page out of eight done so far, and should be able to easily build from there.

Commented by Suzer on November 21, 2005 at 2:37 pm

Got my 1st mark back today, on this essay. Hey guys, I got a 56. Sounds really terrible, doesn’t it, but that is equivilant to a C at home. I thought the paper was pretty weak, myself, so I’m happy with the grade; probably would have graded it worse myself…but I’m not complaining;)

np: Smiths, Best of, Volume 1

Commented by Suzer on December 16, 2005 at 10:46 pm