• Sustainable Tourism

    “Tourism that takes full account of its current and future environmental, social and economic impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment and communities”
    The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

Sustainable Tourism Network Policy 2024

Sustainable tourism is tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social, and environmental impacts while addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities (UN Tourism, n.d.).

  • Itinerary designs which have utmost regard to minimising the impact on the local environment and improving it wherever possible.
  • Our Group Tours – We express to our groups the importance to minimise the environmental and social footprint of our trips.
  • A policy of “leave no trace” which is relevant to  waste disposal, visual and noise intrusion, and other land users.
  • Leave only footprints…take care of the environment as you would your own home. Take out all you take in, to areas away from the cities.
  • Use alternatives to plastic and say ‘No’ to plastic bags. For cigarette butts, an empty film container makes a perfect portable container.
  • Client briefings on sustainable travel, environmental awareness, responsibilities, and practice with particular emphasis on highlighting local environmental issues/threats.
  • Before leaving home we encourage you to learn as much as possible about the countries you are visiting – the language, religion and culture, the local rules and values.
  • We hope on implementing a positive commitment to help local businesses & the communities in local area.
  • Sustainable Tourism is important to us here at Irish Rugby Tours and we take pride in implementing all of our policies.

We Are Sustainable Tourism Network Members!

We are always looking for ways to change for the better in order to help improve our environmental impact!

That is why we have made it one of our goals to be Members of Sustainable Tourism Network.

Our mission is to continue to look for ways to improve the impact of tourism on the environment in all locations we visit.

Irish Rugby Tours - Sustainable Tourism Network

Our Goals

We strongly urge all our tours to join Leave No Trace and to practice the 7 Leave No Trace principles.

  • Plan ahead and prepare
  • Be considerate of others
  • Respect farm animals and wildlife
  • Travel and camp on durable ground
  • Leave what you find
  • Dispose of waste properly
  • Minimise the effects of fire

You can download the Leave No Trace’s PDF to learn more about why we should practice these 7 principles by clicking on the link.

Take only memories, and try not to even to leave footprints!

Group Beach Cleans

Wherever we are beaches are important to everyone and we plan on keeping them clean.

As part of our sustainable travel policy, we intend on having all tour groups take part in at least 1 beach clean. This is in order to give back to the local communities we visit.

We must also consider the wildlife that inhabits the surrounding areas by protecting them from our waste.

All this is harmful and can have devastating effects on their well-being.

Everyone including wildlife has a right to be able to relax and enjoy the beach and its surrounding areas in a clean & safe manner.

Elimination Of Single Use Plastic

Single-use plastic includes items such as straws, bags, and bottles.

The usage of single use plastic bottles has a huge negative affect on the environment.

As our tours can be large groups, we will encourage all touring groups to nominate a sustainable travel group leader.

They will be responsible for ensuring all team members bring their own reusable water bottle.  In addition, trying to minimise their use of single use plastics in all situations.

With this we will also make sure we recycle as much as we can and discard general waste in the right manner.

Responsible Marketing

We know we can’t always get things right the first time. We therefore commit to honestly communicating where we are on our journey and our improvements.


Supporting Local Enterprise

Ethical Purchasing – to buy products and services produced in way that minimises social or environmental damage. We will be looking to avoid products and services that have a negative impact on everyone & everything.

We want to be fair to our business partners, who should be able to make a fair profit when working with us.

Look to work with the wider tourism industry to innovate and encourage responsible practices for all concerned.

Our groups spend between 4 & 10 nights around Ireland. Our suppliers are locally-owned so the bulk of our guest spend is retained in the community.

These suppliers acknowledge how important it is that companies like us in the tourism trade are supporting the small business owner. Therefore helping the local community to sustain stability.

Energy, Waste & Water Management

At Irish Rugby Tours we have started to manage our waste, energy and water consumption by committing to measuring our consumption every 3 months.  We have taken steps towards reducing our energy and waste bills as well as looking at new ways to reduce our water consumption.

New energy-efficient and environmentally friendly light bulbs have replaced the existing bulbs in place. Staff are also encouraged to turn off all lights in rooms not being used in the office.

Reducing waste is important to Irish Rugby Tours, we have taken the initiative to encourage staff to bring less packaging into the office. We also have separate recycling and general waste bins which are only changed when completely full.

To reduce water consumption each office toilet will be fitted with filled 500ml water bottles, reducing the amount required per flush. This will save 500ml of water each time!

Carbon Management

We are looking at how to reduce our carbon emissions and we will be implementing the right size coach for the right size tour. By reducing the size of our coaches for smaller tours we will be saving fuel that would have been wasted on a larger coach. We plan to ensure coach capacity is always as close to full as possible.

Less fuel means less emissions!

We plan to also offset our carbon emissions by introducing a plan for when our groups arrive, they plant a tree in one of the various cities they visit around Ireland.

Sustainable Travel


Since the beginning of January 2021 we have made the switch to become a paperless company. This has helped to reduce our overall carbon footprint and has helped us become a more sustainable company.

Around 25% of waste dumped into landfills is paper that has been discarded. To add to this when paper rots it creates methane which is more toxic than carbon dioxide.

This is why we feel it is our duty to help reduce our paper wastage and our office space has become all digital. One of the many different steps that we are taking in order to become a more sustainable.

Signed  : George Hook (Irish Rugby Tours)

Date     : 30/05/2024

This policy will be reviewed annually.

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