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Dark Sky Ecotourism!

Observing the night skies have inspired people since the time of antiquity. Today, the interest in the night sky, such as dark sky observation, astronomy, and astro-photography is seeing increasing popularity.

The Dark Sky Project aims to empower training bodies and business in remote and rural European tourism to seize a more equitable share of Europe’s future post pandemic tourism opportunities. It will play a key role in rebuilding and refocusing European tourism to be more sustainable, resilient, and future orientated.

This is more than something for tourism.
This project will help the environment
Jack Gibson

The travel and tourism industry, it’s just a huge part of our economy.

- Karen Hughes

The ability to gaze up to the stars and ponder their meaning has been the privilege of travelers and locals for millennia. Many stargazers seek out Dark Sky Preserves simply for unobstructed views of the Milky Way. But dark skies are more than just a tourist attraction; they’re a crucial part of wildlife protection and conservation efforts. As traveler confidence builds post Covid, consumers are seeking out opportunities to travel in a more immersive way, away from typical crowded tourist attractions to more nature based. Dark Sky Ecotourism offers a form of frugal innovation as it taps into two free resources – the night sky and nature.

Dark Sky Ecotourism is part of the Erasmus programme lead by the Department of Tourism at the University of Hólar. The project is working on a handbook and educational material for use by tourism companies. The objectives of this project are:

  • To enable businesses to take advantage of dark skies opportunites based on ecoutourism criteria.
  • To promote sustainable tourism in rural areas.
  • To educating communities and destinations about opportunities in dark areas.
Learn More

Project Activities

Result 01

Dark Sky Ecotourism Guide

Dark Sky Ecotourism provides a guide for tourism businesses, education providers, including our partners, as well as for tourism ecosystems and wider stakeholders. The objective of the Guide is to introduce the concept of Dark Sky Ecotourism and the opportunities it presents.

Result 02

Dark Sky Audit and Ecotourism Assessment Tools

The Dark Sky Audit and Ecotourism Assessment Tool is designed to achieve widespread use and impact. It includes a set of two online, Ecotourism checklists, which enable our users to evaluate their location and capacity and self-assess if they well positioned both in terms of location and current skills levels to become dark sky ecotourism promoters.

Result 03

VET Programme: Developing Dark Sky Ecotourism Products, Services and Destinations

Dark Sky Ecotourism’s VET Programme will focus on how to create new/alternative dark sky ecotourism products, services and destinations which play to geographical strengths and make best/most environmentally friendly use of natural resources.

Result 04

Dark Sky Ecotourism Apps

Our mission is to educate people about apps that will provide rural/remote tourism business owners wider communities, individuals, and European tourists with informal bite sized learning opportunities on topics related to dark skies such as astronomy, light pollution, ecotourism, rural/remote life on Europe, natural tourism, night tours, nocturnal safaris and much more.

Project Partners

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