Responsible Tourism Ireland
Little Gem's commitment to supporting & promoting sustainable tourism in Ireland...
What is Responsible / Sustainable Tourism?
"Tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities." (UNWTO)
Little Gem Tours &
Responsible Tourism Ireland
"Fundamental to Little Gem Tours is our love for our beautiful little island and we are very much aware of our company's impact on it's environment. From the beginning we have tried to promote Ireland in a sustainable and responsible manner by staying small, promoting Ireland's lesser known sights and supporting local enterprise along the journey. Without this ethos we would never have pursued the founding of the company.
We have developed a network of local enterprises which we support and promote throughout the season. Of course we cannot claim to be an eco friendly tourism experience. We realise that our tours are driven by vehicles and that ultimately, our guests have to arrive into Ireland by air. However we are determined to maximise the benefits that our family run company brings to the island and also to minimise the negatives. This is core to our responsible tourism strategy and this determination will see us change and innovate to keep Little Gem to the forefront of responsible tourism in Ireland."
Maggie Dooney & Robbie McGrane
Little Gem Tours
What we feel we do well
& Our Achievements so far...
Supporting Local Enterprise & Sustaining Community
Core to the values of Little Gem Tours is supporting local enterprise on our travels. We have built and continue to build a network of small independent local enterprises through our Meet The Locals initiative. This is an element of the business that we are proud of and we will strive to improve and add to this to continure the progress made.
Staying Small & Leaving No Trace
Here at Little Gem Tours we exclusively provide private tours. This way we stay small and have a small footfall across Ireland. Our tour guides promote a Do No Harm and Leave No Trace philosophy which goes to the core of our responsible tourism goals.
Promoting Ireland's Local Heritage & Culture
Promoting the culture and heritage of Ireland goes to the very core of our approach to providing tours in Ireland. From the beginning we wanted to portray our love for our heritage to visitors from around the world. Ireland's culture is strong and deep and we feel tourism is one of the core industrys that helps promote and maintain this strong culture. All of our tour are designed to include heritage and cultural sights and visits everyday across all of the island.
Promoting Lesser Known Ireland
Off the beaten path and away from the crowds is our motto and exploring Ireland's hidden gems is what we do best here at Little Gem. This allows us to promote lesser known Ireland and showcase to our guests the places that perhaps have been neglected by tourism in Ireland.
A Remote Working Office Policy
Our office is based on a remote working policy. We all work from home for at least 75% of our working week. Therefore limiting the commute for employees and minimising our offices impact on the environment. Our employees are all passionate regarding sustainability and adopt this into their day to day lives.
Our Home Working Policy
We encourage our employees to adopt sustainable approaches at home. Both the company owners Maggie and Robbie are vegeterian and are passionate about sustainability.
- We encourage composting in the home.
- We encourage a zero-waste home working environment with no printing of paper.
- Our new home office will be based on a renewable electicity heating system.
Creating Local Employment
Little Gem Tours are proud to employ tour guides and drivers right across our island both north and south of the border. We try and match our guides to certain tours ensuring that local knowledge and expertise is brought through all of our tours. This in turn brings employment to areas of the island that otherwise may have few employment opportunities.
Promoting the Little Things...
The little things add up and here at Little Gem we try our best to think about the environment each day. Below are some of the little things that we do that can make a big difference.
- A paperless administrative policy
- Recycle our waste and the waste on tours
- Encourage the use of reusable coffee cups
- Encourage the use of Ecosia Search Engine in our offices.
- Encourage eco-driving on tours.
See our Driver Guide Responsible Tourism Guidelines
How we feel we can do better &
Our plans to improve...
Reduce Our Current Emissions - Audit of our current tours, providing carbon reduced options & eliminating selected high carbon tours.
Offsetting Our Carbon Emissions from Company Formation - We are currently working on calculating and offsetting our carbon emissions through offsetting projects such as tree planting and bog rejuvenation. This is a combination of overseas and native Irish projects.
Status: We have calculated our carbon emissions and are currently
seeking an appropriate offsetting scheme to work with.
Develop company relationship with local community initiatives. Little Gem plan to team with a local community initiative to develop sustainable tourism in a traditionally farming community. Already Little Gem has helped tourism in the small farming village of Carracastle County Mayo through the development of an immersive rural Ireland experience. See Ireland West Farm Stay for more details.
Little Gem Carbon Offsetting:
Little Gem Tree Planting &
Bog Rejuvenation Projects
We are very excited to bring two offsetting projects into the core of Little Gem Tours as we strive to become carbon neutral across our business.
Carbon Offsetting through Tree Planting -
We are working on introducing a sustainable tree planting initiative to offset the carbon emitted during our tours. The first step in this project is to measure the carbon output across our entire business from the formation of our company to the present day. More details to follow soon....
Carbon Offsetting through Bog Rejuvenation -
We are also in the process of purchasing Bogland to save from turf cutting which we plan to rejuvenate as a vital element to our offsetting project. More details to follow soon...
Where we are at...
Both of these projects are on-gong.
We have calculated our yearly Carbon Emissions from business start up and are choosing the correct offsetting project.
We are also currently purchasing the bog and land that we will be used to help offset our emissions.
Introduction of Carbon Reduced Tour Options
Another initiave we are currently working on to reduce our carbon emmisions is the introduction of Carbon Reduced Tours. This will be optional alterations to our current tours suggestions that allow for reduced carbon emmissions.
Elimination of use of non-reusable plastics and chemicals
A project to eliminate use of non-reusable plastics and chemicals will begin soon. This will see the encouraging of reusable coffee cups and the use of eco-friendly car washes througout all of our tours.