The National Trust’s Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre has picked up a global award which recognises the world famous attraction for its sustainability.
This is the first time any tourism project in Northern Ireland has taken the prestigious award.
The Skål International “Sustainable Development in Tourism” award was brought home to Northern Ireland after a gala ceremony in New York. The award was officially handed over to National Trust team today at the Giant’s Causeway.
There was stiff competition with a total of 26 projects, from 17 countries, entering eight different categories. It was also the first time any entry from Northern Ireland has been submitted. The Giant’s Causeway took the prize in the Major Tourist Attraction category, widely regarded as the ceremony’s showpiece award.
Esther Dobbin, National Trust said; “We are incredibly proud of the Visitor Centre which welcomed almost 790,000 visitors in its first year of opening. Even with these huge numbers, it has always been essential for us to demonstrate the very best practice in sustainable tourism. The Causeway is our only World Heritage Site, so it is very important for us to protect this incredibly special place.
“The Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre has a range of innovative sustainability features including a grass roof which was grown from seeds collected from neighbouring fields. The iconic basalt which visitors can admire on the exterior of the building was locally quarried in Kilrea, from the same lava flows which formed the Causeway. This connection to the local area was essential to us, and it is only with these strong ties to our local community that have had such success.”
Other sustainable statistics from the Causeway include the fact that more than 95% of waste at the site is fully recycled.
Diane Toner, Skål International Northern Ireland said; “As this was the first time a project from NI had been submitted, we felt especially proud and honoured to collect this Award on behalf of the National Trust during our World Congress in New York. With more than 1000 delegates from 54 countries in attendance, this really is a huge profile not just for the Giant’s Causeway but also for Northern Ireland.”
“We’d like to congratulate the team at the Giant’s Causeway as well as the National Trust. The visitor centre is truly something to be proud of.”