Responsible Travel Policy
West Ireland Cycling is 100% Irish owned and operated. Not only are we experts on our country, but we have a passion for Ireland and all things Irish. We are committed to promoting and preserving the cultural and natural heritage of Ireland by helping people explore the island by bike.
At West Ireland Cycling, we have designed our cycling holidays with the local people, our unique culture and our stunning landscapes in mind. It’s our job to take you right to the heart of real, authentic Ireland, but we are committed to doing that in a way that helps to preserve our cultural heritage, protect our natural environment and positively impact on people in the communities we visit.
On our cycling tours, we reduce our impact on communities and regions by travelling in small groups. Not only does this allow the group to get off the beaten track usually taken by larger tours, but it also gives you the opportunity to meet the locals and experience Irish culture first-hand. Because we arrive in small numbers, we have cultural access to local communities unlike that of larger tours. Likewise, when cycling, you’re free to engage with the tranquility of the Irish landscape in peace, and at your own pace.
Supporting Local Communities
As we discover Ireland, we believe in putting money directly back into the communities we are visiting, where possible. We do this by staying in local family-owned accommodation that showcases the real character of the regions we visit and ensures that revenue is retained within local communities.
Buying Local in Ireland
By highlighting, purchasing and consuming local foods as part of our touring experience, and by sampling traditional cuisine in the many traditional Irish pubs, restaurants and cafes we encounter along the way, we help to support local businesses all along our route.
Using Local Services
By using locally owned suppliers to run our optional activities on tour, we increase the range and number of local business that can benefit from our tours in Ireland, while encouraging local enterprise. It also enables us to get up close, meet and interact, with local people.
Using Local Drivers/Guides
Seeing a region through the eyes of one who calls it home is one of the great joys of travelling. At West Ireland Cycling, we attempt to provide employment within our own community, by recruiting local guides. Their expert knowledge will aid your learning and increase your understanding of Ireland’s history, culture and customs in a way that only a local can.
Experiencing Indigenous Crafts
We introduce or guests to local workshops and enterprises to learn about Irish customs and products such as crystal, pottery, knitting, jewelry, smoked salmon, whisky, Guinness, cheese and chocolates. We often provide the opportunity to buy locally crafted goods directly from the people who have made them.
Maintaining Cultural Heritage
On all of our tours in Ireland, our staff is trained in low-impact tourism practices and encourage the preservation of cultural heritage by appreciating, but not altering, archaeological and historical sites while on tour.
Leaving No Trace
We promote and practice “Leave No Trace” ethics on tour, such as: ensuring no litter is left behind, following walking and cycling-path guidelines and exercising care to avoid disturbing our fragile environments. We audit every tour to ensure we have done our best to reduce the environmental and social impacts of our business.
Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
We have waste, energy and recycling policies both in our office and on tour. By developing our website and electronic literature, we’re also trying to reduce the amount of paper materials we produce and use recycled and fair trade products as much as possible.
Supporting Community Projects
At West Ireland Cycling, we are committed to returning something meaningful to the communities and regions we visit, by supporting development and conservation projects in these areas.
Our responsible travel policies and standards on all our tours are constantly evolving, and we recognise that there’s always more we can do. If you have any ideas on how we can improve our commitment to socially and environmentally conscious travel, then please give us your feedback and help us to keep Ireland beautiful.