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Catherine Mack

Photo: On green ground

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Catherine Mack is a dynamo travel writer specialising in responsible travel.

She graduated with a Masters degree in Responsible Tourism Management in 2007. Her Masters research project was a detailed study of the UK travel media, analysing the role travel journalists have in making tourism more sustainable. She was the winner of the Virgin Holidays Best Travel Writer in Responsible Tourism Award 2011, presented at the World Travel Market.

Trinidad and Tobago – Sustainability with a Smile
The people I meet
Do punters give a toss about responsible tourism?
Responsible tourism awards-2012

I have been wary of tackling the subject of disability for some time. I admit it, I was afraid of getting it wrong, using politically incorrect terminology or causing offence, and so, to my shame, I am only now starting to try and understand some of the real issues. It would appear, however, that I am not alone, with many others working in tourism nervous of getting it wrong. And with over 100,000 people employed in accommodation and food services in Ireland, that’s a lot of people who are afraid to say, “Can I help you?”
– Catherine Mack, Opening doors to the disabled

The ‘pro’ argument for all inclusives is always that local people should be happy because they offer ‘employment’. At a recent conference on responsible tourism, when one international hotel chain which was boasting its ethical practices in the Caribbean, because it was now buying all its jam from an island producer, I challenged them: “Why stop at jam?” I suggested, “Surely there are so many other products you could source locally?” to which the response was, “Have you any idea what that would do to our profit margins? And anyway, we employ hundreds of people here every year, which is more than they had before we arrived.”
– Catherine Mack, All inclusive holidays – the way to a ‘better world’?

Elsewhere on the Web

John McCarthy looks at responsible tourism with journalist Catherine Mack and Cambodia with author Sue Guiney, marine protection leader Pete Raines and volunteer Kirsty Brown.

Irish Times
Will ye ever stop in Wales

Audio Boo



Award Nomination Draft (June 2011)

In June 2011 I am nominating good friend Catherine Mack for the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards. Category: Best in responsible tourism writing. Her columns from The Irish Times and The Green Parent Magazine are spot-on, reader-friendly, place-friendly gems. Her writing is clear and poetic. Let me be frank. Catherine writes about places in a way that doesn’t make me cringe.

There are minions of bad writers who write poorly about travel, there are many good writers who ‘tack on’ information about responsible tourism in a clunky afterschool special way. There are only a handful of good writers who embed information about responsible tourism. Frankly, she’s at the top of my personal reading list.

That she has composed an app — Ireland Green Travel app surprised me — and even moreso how much better I found her Ireland Green Travel App than her EcoEscape book (which I absolutely loved). There’s something about books we all do love! How do I get Catherine to sign a copy of her app for me?

Besides her place-based features that do such an admirable job of highlighting what makes local places distinct, she also writes big picture essays like Tourism must tap into water issue.


A Nice Line in Landing Tourists

Shhh … Silence is Golden

Rebels with a tourists cause

Greening of Belle Isle

Slow holidays off to a flyer

Embedded Tweets


What is responsible travel?



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Responsible Travel Week

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