a case study provided by Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark
The Marble Arch Caves UNESCO Global Geopark has dedicated a significant amount of resources to the development of a variety of tourism products which are marketed and communicated to a wide variety of target audiences. Some of these products that are particularly worthy of note are:
- Over 100km of walking/cycling/canoeing trails
- Outdoor Recreation experiences such as wild caving, canoeing etc.
- Engagement with local craft and food businesses
- Geopark Business Programme – Pilot stage in Summer 2020
All of these activities are open all year around and most are free to utilise. Ample accommodation and facilities allow our visitors to increase the duration of their stay and engage further with the area. Our Geopark also has some very unique offerings such as Jampa Ling Tibetan Buddhist Centre which offers yoga retreats throughout the year.
Our Geopark is in the process of developing and piloting Geopark Food Trail, a particularly important product, not only because food and drink is increasingly central to any tourist experience, but also because gastronomy and wine tourism have evolved to encompass culture, local history, values and heritage.
The Geopark designs an annual events programme to embrace the ethos of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and hosts events within the Geopark area which reflect the rich natural, built and cultural heritage of the border regions of counties Fermanagh and Cavan. Over 50 plus events are hosted annually and is designed to cater for individuals or all ages and all interests, from:
- family fun days
- heritage and geology talks
- walking and food festivals
- craft workshops
- guided rambles
All our events are delivered by passionate Geopark Staff and Ambassadors. There is an extensive mix of interactive and engaging activities for all those interested in learning more about their Geopark and widening their senses.
MACUGG Events Guide for 2019
As a Geopark it is crucially important to link in with National, International and Global meaningful celebrations such as Heritage Week, Science Festivals, World Wildlife Day and National Tree Week.
Our Geopark engages with a series of stakeholders:
- Heritage Officers
- Tourism Officers
- local Geopark Ambassadors
- Community Representatives
- local Tourism Providers
to produce an Events Guide that will appeal to the wider population as well as locals. Our events programme is integral to creating awareness of all UNESCO Global Geoparks and providing informal education to participants, who experience first-hand our natural and cultural environment. Events are promoted via a variety of media, with an environmental ethos in mind, limited hard copies are printed and used in combination with electronic platforms and social media, local community networks. Information in relation to events are distributed to tourism providers, accommodation providers, restaurant providers, tourist offices and Geopark Interpretation Sites.