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Sustainability Strategy

Sustainable development in Fenit tourism

Fenit is Ireland’s only village, town or city with the sustainable development goals icon in our village sign. We are committed to SDG 17 Partnership and collaborate to deliver the best outcomes for our community and our guests. We are committed to the principles and priorities of the SDGs, and we recognise that tourism is changing. We welcome this change and, as tourism providers in Fenit, commit to taking full account of the past, current, and future economic, social, and environmental impacts, while addressing the needs of visitors, industry, the environment and our local communities. We help to drive change across our community through awareness-raising, education, and practice in partnership with our local community. We are working together in Fenit to plan and manage tourism to support and sustain job creation, promote social inclusion, protect our natural, cultural and maritime heritage, conserve and regenerate biodiversity on land and at sea, generate sustainable livelihoods and improve human wellbeing. Our tourism providers run an open seminar series across the year open to the community and visitors on a variety of sustainable development topics.  

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Greenway Cycle

Cycling our Fenit Greenway represents a healthy and non-air-polluting lifestyle in line with SDG 3: Good health and well-being. As part of a first or last-mile transport strategy that links with other transport options as evident in our Fenit offer, cycling contributes to SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy. Cycling tourism delivers products and services for the sustainable transport of people and goods as well as sustainable tourism and healthy leisure activities. The cycling sector creates more jobs for the same turnover than any other transport sector contributing to SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth. Increased cycling and mixed transport solutions in sustainable tourism align with the need for more resilient infrastructure and sustainable transport systems contributing to SDG 9: Industry innovation and infrastructure. The Fenit partner CoMotion prioritises accessibility as a company value in line with our village and tourism ethos contributing to SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities. Integrating cycling into Fenit’s tourist mobility mix alongside walking, cycling and other means of transport the more sustainable the transport system is aligning with Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities. CoMotion and its hub in Fenit is a symbol of decarbonizing transport and societies as needed to achieve SDG 13: Climate Action. CoMotion working with other tourism partners in Fenit contributes sustainable transport to our tourism product. By cycling the 2.5k kick-off in your Fenit tour you are contributing to multiple SDGs.

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Fenit Boat Tours

Boat tours are an important part of Fenit’s tourism offer and provide an opportunity to fuse education with tourism about the importance of marine conservation to us all. Our boat tour operators contribute to efforts to protect and safeguard our cultural and natural heritage contributing to SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. They bring valuable local employment and promote socioeconomic development contributing to SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic growth. Kerry Colleen’s Eco Tour explores maritime life and emphasises conservation awareness while enhancing the tourism experience and contributing to SDG 14 Life Below Water. Fenit’s marine ecosystem plays a critical role in protecting coastal communities from natural disasters and is a critical part of SDG 13: Climate Action. Ireland’s marine territory is more than 10 times our land mass, and our boat tour operators recognise and draw attention to the need to get serious about conserving and sustainably using the oceans, seas, and marine resources. Our boat tour operators minimise wake and speed, avoid sensitive marine habitats, and properly dispose of waste. Between now and 2023 they are actively transitioning to more eco-friendly options that are now emerging. 

Our boat tour operators promote marine-safe sunblock and use reusable water bottles and food containers in line with SDG 14: Life Below Water Our boat tour operators are committed to reducing our carbon footprint, and although not yet perfect, this remains an active consideration. Gary’s boat currently runs with Suzuki outboard engines. Suzuki, in line with SDG: 14 Life Below Water, runs the Clean Ocean Project to contribute to SDGs and has introduced hybrid options. New electric rib options are also emerging onto the market, and Fenit’s boat tour operators will transition sustainably in line with SDG 9: Industries, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Wild Water Adventures

Using Fenit for adventure tourism in Kerry helps to disperse economic resources more broadly, contributing to SDG 1: Zero Poverty. This is supported by the Adventure Travel Trade Association,reports that adventure tourism leaves more revenue in a destination than mass tourism.  Wild Water Adventures offer multiple opportunities for advancing SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, especially concerning non-communicable disease reduction and mental health. Offering rural tourism such as the Wild Water Adventure offer shifts the focus from overcrowded tourist hubs and empowers community-led collaboratives and small businesses contributing to SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth. Integrating Fenit as rural and village-based adventure tourism offers into MICE tourism itineraries supports Fenit’s positive economic, social and environmental development in line with SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Also in line with Goal 11 is the capacity of adventure tourism to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

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Fenit Coast Conservation

Fenit Coast Conservation group use nature-based solutions to manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems sustainably, specifically our dunes and tombolo, to avoid significant adverse impacts, strengthen their resilience, and restore them, contributing directly to SDG 14 Life Below Water. Through their activities with community volunteers and tourists, they are helping them acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development of our coastal ecosystem contributing to SDG 4 Quality Education. Fenit Coast Conservation group consistently make the connection between our maritime and coastal conservation efforts and SDG 13 Climate Action. This group have hosted public events with visiting experts for our Fenit Seminar Series. 

Art in Fenit

Supporting artists in their professional lives by enabling them to make an equitable income through inclusion in tourism initiatives such as MICE events contributes to SDG 1: No Poverty, SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth and SDG 10: Reduced Inequality.  Innovations like graphic harvesting are more common in MICE tourism now and this supports SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Fenit is home to artists male and female and across our tourism offers, we will ensure SDG 5 Gender Equality. As a partnership, we seek to promote visual art and artists as an integral part of a sustainable, healthy and vibrant Fenit community in line with SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. Art provides a means of exploring and, expressing and delivering on many SDGs, including SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 4: Quality Education.

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Yoga in Fenit

Yoga positively affects the mind, body and soul, benefitting our health and well-being in line with SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being. It changes perspectives, lifestyles and consciousness, which can make it a force for change across many SDGs, including SDG 13: Climate Action, SDG 14: Life Below Water, SDG 15: Life on Land. Practising beach yoga brings the additional health benefits of outdoor activity and elevates our environmental consciousness.  Including yoga in our tourism offers yogic sustainable employment aligned with SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.  

Sea Swimming in Fenit

Sea Swimming, wild swimming and open-water swimming are popular activities among visitors and locals and have contributed to more sustainable employment opportunities in Fenit through the provision of swim teaching, coaching, lifeguarding and support activities in coastal aligned with SDG 3: Zero Poverty and SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth. Sea swimming offers many documented physical and mental health benefits at a low cost, contributing to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being. The trend has seen increased attention to and provision of swimming as part of SDG 4: Quality Education, especially for those in tourist areas who can contribute safely to the blue economy. The rise in sea swimming as a tourism offer at Fenit’s Blue Flag Beach and in wild coastal environments requires better management of our coastal waters contributing to SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation. Fenit’s swimming culture has seen the village allocated an outdoor water-based activity centre.  It will be built using sustainable materials and solar panels and fully wheelchair accessible to changing places standards, opening Fenit’s offer for the first time to wheelchair users and increasing the accessibility, diversity and inclusion of Fenit tourism while contributing to SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities, SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy, SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

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The Fenit Beach Clean

The Fenit Beach Clean is part of a global effort led by Ocean Conservancy, which aims to tackle the greatest global challenges facing our oceans, creating a healthier ocean in a more just world. In Ireland, it is coordinated by Clean Coasts, and Fenit Coast Conservation will lead our local effort to #SeaTheChange. Every piece of waste adds to the efforts of 17 million volunteers over 30 years who have removed 350 million pounds of waste from our beaches. The Big Beach Clean highlights the need to address SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities by strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s natural heritage. It also gets us thinking about the importance of SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, reducing waste generation, such as single-use plastic, and encouraging lifestyle habits in harmony with nature. You will contribute to SDG 14: Life Below Water and the health of Tralee Bay, home to our local pod of dolphins and a significant breeding ground for skates, rays, and angel sharks. Healthy seas are critical to addressing SDG: 13 Climate Action. Download the CleanSwell App on Apple or Google Play to record and post your hoard from your Fenit experience.

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