The Inishowen Ecotourism Network was set up in 2012 by Neil Faulkner, a consultant who has provided training and mentoring to numerous tourism businesses throughout Ireland in Responsible Tourism and best environmental practice. The Inishowen Development Partnership recognised that a number of tourism businesses in the Inishowen Peninsula in Co. Donegal were interested in promoting the culture, heritage and biodiversity of the area. In addition, it had the development of Responsible Tourism in their development plan. So Neil applied to LEADER for support and was granted funding towards training, mentoring and Network facilitation.

Through the training, 32 businesses in Inishowen learned and adopted the principles of Responsible Tourism. They have now implemented best environmental practice in their own businesses, including putting systems in place to manage waste, conserve energy, conserve water and promote the culture, heritage and biodiversity of Inishowen.

The initiative has led to the development of the Green Trail, which is based on the historic Inishowen 100 Route and the recently developed Wild Atlantic Way.


Neil says it’s important for people who are establishing a green business to market themselves as such: “Business owner/ managers with an interest in environmental best practice are willing to implement recommendations etc. on waste management, water and energy conservation, but tend not to promote their businesses as models of best environmental best practice.

The Inishowen Ecotourism Network has significant benefits for the local economy through the sourcing of local food and services. It also benefits the environment through promotion of the culture, heritage and biodiversity of Inishowen.

Neil is very proud that 32 tourism businesses have achieved accreditation as Responsible Tourism businesses and have successfully developed the Inishowen Ecotourism Network. He is also delighted that the establishment of the Network has resulted in Inishowen being recognised as a Green Tourist Destination. 

Green Trail
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