The overall aim of LIVE (Llŷn IVeragh Eco-museums) is to enable coastal communities to promote their natural and cultural assets, creating opportunities for sustainable tourism, especially outside of the traditional peak tourist seasons. LIVE will use the Ecomuseum model of co-operative marketing to create a powerful suite of digital and non-digital resources for eco and educational tourism. These resources will be underpinned by knowledge of the local environments of the Llŷn Peninsula in Gwynedd and the Iveragh Peninsula in Kerry.
The project will draw on the success of the already established #Ecoamgueddfa on the Llŷn Peninsula and will benefit from the experience and expertise of its network of community organisations, academic partners and local governments.
LIVE will facilitate the development of high-quality, sustainable tourism products that will be underpinned by new and existing knowledge of the natural environment of each location.
This information will be gathered by the partner universities and communities based on themes of interest to residents and visitors and by identifying gaps in existing environmental knowledge. The products could include new or enhanced environmental experiences, citizen science and nature spotting initiatives, or itineraries based on points of environmental interest. These will be brought together within one brand that will provide a strong identity for each region. They will be packaged into a suite of attractive, accessible digital and non-digital resources.
LIVE employs the Ecomuseum model of community-based co-operative branding of the natural feautres of a place. The partnership will also facilitate upskilling workshops and ambassador programmes to enable local residents to engage with the digital marketing strategy and to engage more deeply with their local environment and culture.
While the Ecomuseum model is new for the Iveragh peninsula, it links into and builds on many existing community initiatives. The #Ecoamgueddfa is already in operation in Wales, but LIVE will enhance this by adding a new focus on natural heritage to complement their existing cultural heritage offerings. The operation will provide a blueprint for similar future developments in Irish and Welsh coastal communities and elsewhere. By adopting the Ecomuseum concept, LIVE aligns itself with a diverse international community of tourism projects that focus on bottom-up, regenerative and community-led initiatives that all have the intention of developing a strong identity for destinations that they can use to attract engaged tourists who will stay and spend locally.
LIVE has been part funded by the Ireland Wales cooperation programme and will run for 3 years (2020-2023). The legacy of the project will be an inclusive, collaborative way of working that capitalises on existing assets and works towards a healthy environment and thriving communities in each region. It will allow each community to develop its own distinct identity and to extend its tourist season without compromising on environmental sustainability or the well-being of residents.