Failte Ireland’s Approach to Wellbeing and Eco-health Tourism

Fáilte Ireland have recognised the potential of the wellness sector and developed a categorisation system and platform for health and wellness offerings in Ireland Since then, the health and wellness sector has developed into a highly significant area of both domestic and international tourism trade.

Failte Ireland, Wellness Categorisation System


Failte Ireland Developed a Categorisation System and Platform For Health and Wellness Offerings In Ireland

Initially, 72 properties were categorised under the new system to help existing and prospective customers better understand the variety of health and wellness offerings available to them. Ireland is the first country in Europe to launch such a complete categorisation. Under the new categorisation system, the broad range of health and wellness retreats were first defined under the following categories: hotel spas, destination spas, resort spas, and specialised retreats.  The aim was to develop a representative categorisation system that is meaningful to consumers, reflects the nuance of different supplier offerings, and incorporates all elements of the spa ‘experience’. Using the system, spa-goers and wellbeing travellers can now make informed choices on their break away and find the products that best suit their needs. This system has since updated and evolved to include other types of wellbeing experiences.

  • Broadened the Scope From Spas and Retreats Recently, the sector has broadened in scope from spa weekends and yoga retreats to activity-based and fitness-orientated holidays, providing increasing appeal to the emerging health-conscious consumer market. In tandem, demand for nutritionally balanced meal options has increased, thereby offering hotel, guesthouse, and local restaurant owners a unique opportunity to “Nutri-market” their menu offerings. Key to this process is the use of fresh, wholesome, and locally sourced ingredients, prepared and presented with care, but also, as leaders in the sector are demonstrating, the provision of accurate nutritional and allergen menu labelling.

Failte Ireland, Teams up with healthpro Menu Monitoring

  • Businesses Can Boost Their Wellness Appeal by Teaming up with their Nutrition and Dietetic Team at healthpro Menu Mentoring®, have been helping a diverse range of Irish businesses to capitalise on the health and wellness market for almost a decade. Via their precise nutritional and allergen analyses, sophisticated menu and website labelling infrastructure, and dietitian-led menu advice, our clients have been successfully attracting and maintaining a demographic of customers previously unattainable. For example, patrons with specific nutritional requirements, such as those engaged in sports or heavy exercise regimes, or those subject to clinically prescribed dietary intake or specific food allergies, are expertly catered for. Furthermore, partnership with healthpro Menu Mentoring® has also contributed to significant indirect business growth – customers not subject to specific dietary needs appreciate and value demonstrated commitment to customer care.

Discover Ireland, Eco Health Experiences Platform

Discover Ireland is the official tourism site of Irelands health and wellbeing experiences from Autumn Sea Swimming, Waterford Camino Tours, Ard Nahoo Retreat, Belleek Nature Trail, Revas Spa in Adare, Burren Yoga and Meditation Centre.

Where GRASSROOTS Comes in! 

The eco-health tourism market is growing rapidly and promises particularly innovative career opportunities for young people, who are more environmentally aware than their elders. Eco-health tourism increases the economic and social impact of individuals, while minimising the impact on the environment and local communities. In this sense, it allows invisible young people to project themselves in an emerging and promising sector of Sustainability and Eco-health Tourism, Robert S. Bristow

We have identified with our young audiences three areas of work that they invest in: sport, street food, street art and digital. Eco-tourism is largely absent from entrepreneurship education.

Research conducted by partners in their own countries confirms that 85% of vocational entrepreneurship education is focused on traditional business sectors. In this context, our project has a clear objective: to introduce new models of entrepreneurship training through actions in the field of Eco health tourism.

Our targets are  

Youth workers who will acquire and dispose of tools for informal training and development of youth initiatives in the field of eco-tourism

NEET and other young people, who will use eco-healath tourism to develop their creative projects, initiatives and businesses

Our project GRASSROOTS addresses the following challenges: 

Challenge for rural and urban youth to take back control of their lives by developing their own professional project in their region of life.

The challenge for rural areas is to combat desertification and an ageing population. The need is twofold: to promote business opportunities for young people to keep them in the area and to attract people who contribute to the local economy.

The challenge of improving the resilience of rural businesses: Farms are increasingly diversified business entities and tourism is emerging as a major opportunity, especially in times of recession, when consumers are reducing their expenditure and their ecological footprint to take holidays closer to home.


Challenges for the tourism sector: the competitiveness of the tourism sector is closely linked to its sustainability, as the quality of tourist destination is strongly influenced by their natural and cultural environment and their integration into a local community. Faced with the worrying signals sent by climate change, the COVID crisis and other millennium challenges, young people are getting involved in green projects, linked to themes that are dear to them: sport, street culture (street food, street art…)