Clean Technologies
Eco-Tourism
 

CYCLE INISHOWEN 

 

Cycling tourism is very good for local economies: cyclists spend longer in an area and Cycle Inishowen has negotiated discounts for tourists throughout the peninsula. The environment benefits from tourists choosing to cycle instead of driving around Inishowen. After their first season, Michael and Blaise donated over one hundred trees to local Tidy Towns groups, community centres and parks. Their ultimate dream is to build a sustainable business, employ staff and attract more tourists to Inishowen, particularly as a cycling destination.

Cycle Inishowen, which runs cycling holidays, guided tours and offers bike hire in Inishowen, Co. Donegal, was set up in 2013 by Michael Ogden and Blaise Harvey. They were awarded LEADER funding through the National Rural Development Scheme of 75% of their capital investment. This facilitated them to buy high-quality bicycles and equipment, and also to get their branding and website developed to a professional standard.

The idea for the cycling business evolved after Blaise, then a theatre crew member for Wired Aerial Theatre, brought Michael, a bicycle courier and mechanic, to Inishowen for the first time. With the combination of good roads, little traffic and a variety of scenery, Michael believed the peninsula had great potential as a destination for cycling tourism.

 

So they took the leap and are delighted that they did, now both enjoying ‘outdoorsy’ roles but with less physical demands than their previous jobs.

Michael says “Every hotel we work with has completed some form of green training and is interested in promoting Inishowen as an eco- tourism destination. We like to think that our cycling holidays are the greenest in Ireland as we, and a lot of other local attractions, have been eco-certified.”

Blaise was very interested in wildlife and the environment from a very young age. She says that cycling tours would be nothing without a beautiful area to cycle through, so it is in their best interests to preserve Inishowen as a green destination.

Michael and Blaise advise anyone setting up a green business to build an eco-strategy into their business plan.

Cycle Inishowen has been selected as a brand ambassador for the Wild Atlantic Way by Fáilte Ireland. It has also been awarded an Eco- Label by the Green Hospitality Awards. 

Cycle Inishowen Malin Head 092-2
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