Have you ever had an idea, or a suggestion made to you and before you have time to blink, everything falls into place, setting you on an exciting new path? Serendipity, coincidence, or just that some things are simply meant to be…
Green and Vibrant
Recently, a series of serendipitous events have presented themselves which I’m pleased to let you know has led to a partnership between Susan Fitzgerald of Vibrant Ireland and myself which we’re collaboratively calling Green and Vibrant.
We have a few ideas we’ll be developing over the coming months but one of the services we’ll be offering is to connect eco, arts & culture destinations and tourism providers with top bloggers. We’d like to help to create a real-time buzz around some of the fab things that are going on and boost their visibility. Eco, arts and culture are areas of tourism that not only have significant growth potential, but are something Susan and I share a passion for and would love to see grow and flourish.
Why the sudden shift into Ecotourism for Greenside Up?
Tourism isn’t just about bringing coach loads of people in to spend lots of money in our towns and villages, when it’s done well it’s about much more than that. It’s about COMMUNITY and Greenside Up isn’t just about gardening, it’s about wanting to improve communities for the good of all. I’ve been mulling the effects of Ecotourism for a while now, since the Waterford bloggers tour back in 2012 again on our overnight stay in close by Graiguenamanagh then more recently when it was demonstrated on our recent trip to Sligo.
As I found on these occasions, Eco or Responsible Tourism helps and supports one another. Ecotourism is about being aware of the environment and culture of a place, about being respectful of our surroundings whilst minimising the impact, it’s about providing financial benefits to the local community and business in a responsible way, encouraging everyone in a community to get involved and create employment. It’s also about providing experiences to both tourism providers and the people who visit that are positive and enjoyable for everyone involved.
Ecotourism is defined as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” (TIES, 1990).
When communities get together and enthusiastically support and help one another instead of moaning and groaning, good and great things can happen.
“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much”
Despite all the turmoil Ireland has had to face and the gloomy headlines that appear on the news stands on a regular basis, we know there’s a huge amount of positivity here, people who want and are making differences in their communities. People love visiting Ireland with its emerald-green fields, its mythology and its culture, talking to the people, listening to the songs, having the craic and even when we already live here, we never tire of visiting other parts of the island – IT’S THAT GOOD! And those stories are replicated across Europe and beyond.
Susan and I feel that if we, as bloggers who live in a community of bloggers, can help to increase the visibility of these positive places and people by sharing their stories, letting you know about all the cool and wonderful things that you can do, that has to be a good thing.
How will Green & Vibrant work?
We’ll be working with tourist providers – from county councils to independents, illustrating to them the benefits of using blogging as a marketing tool. Bloggers are experts in their fields and we already have audiences who are interested in our chosen areas – something destinations may not have. We use social media extensively and not only are we able to share our news instantly, once posts are published they’re accessible online at any time, creating a long-lasting history of a place or event that’s accessible in a few seconds. Our aim is to link relevent bloggers with destinations so that they can experience, write and share their experiences with you.
Where will we start?
In the short time we’ve been working together, we already have a few things in the pipeline, beginning with Carlow Tourism Office as we work as social media ambassadors for the 2014 Carlow Garden Festival.
What does this mean for Greenside Up in the vegetable garden?
No changes are planned for the foreseeable future – I’ll still be working with private clients and community gardens as before, encouraging communities to create gardens where they can share their experiences and produce. Green and Vibrant will be an extra service I offer. It does mean you’ll be seeing more posts on this blog about places I visit and am keen to share with you and you’ll notice an extra tab on the top of the website that links to the activities of Green and Vibrant.
If you like the idea of what we’re doing and would like to find out more about how we can help your community promote the best of its Eco, Arts and Cultural activities, then get in touch with us right now. The sooner we can help you, the sooner people will find you.
If you’d like to read Susan’s post about the reasons behind her involvement in Green and Vibrant, her love of Ireland and mention of a few people who were instrumental in us taking up this new direction, take a look at her post on Vibrant Ireland here.