Begun in 2002 as Ireland’s first eco-tourism project, the Green Box is now becoming one of Ireland’s major niche tourism initiatives. The project delivers an eco-tourism destination to visitors to the Green Box region (all of Leitrim and Fermanagh and parts of Donegal, Sligo and Cavan).
The key aims of the project include the:
- Creation of new market ready products by enterprises in less visited rural areas.
- Creation of the first eco-tourism certification programme in Ireland and the adoption of the EU approved EU Flower award by accommodation providers in the area (essential to ensure that proper standards are developed and maintained for all Green Box products).
- Development of a range of eco tourism packages to appeal to regional, national and international tourists.
- Delivery of real economic benefits at ground level for product providers and communities.
The Green Box project generates tourism and activities that:
- have a minimal impact on the ecology of the area;
- are of maximum benefit to the community; and
- match the needs of the environmentally-conscious visitor.
The WDTP has played a key facilitation role between the public, private and community sectors in the development of the Green Box plan, the coordination of applications for funding and the establishment of the Green Box Board.
Green Box programme areas
The Green Box has three main programming areas:
- Capital Development Programme – administering grant aid to the private and community sector to support them in developing market-ready products. This programme will also support two flagship projects in Fermanagh and in Leitrim.
- Product Providers Network – networking 100 product providers and community groups throughout the region while developing Ireland’s’ first eco tourism standard.
- Marketing Programme – promoting and selling the Green Box and its product providers at local, regional, national and international levels.
Tourists can now visit a conceptual and spatial ‘Green Box’ – a defined region containing environmentally sustainable products, accommodation and attractions in an area of clean natural resources.