Catherine is a freelance 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. She also got the chance to talk about this award, and about responsible tourism in general, on BBC Radio 4 Excess Baggage.
Following her studies, Catherine went on to write articles for leading UK newspapers and magazines, including The Daily Telegraph, The Independent, The Guardian, The Observer, Metro, Coast Magazine, Adventure Travel Magazine and Countryfile Magazine. She has also been a green travel columnist for National Geographical Traveller UK and The Green Parent magazine. Although based in London, UK, Catherine is an Irish national. She was a regular ‘Ethical Traveller’ columnist for The Irish Times for four years, and still writes regular destination features for The Irish Times, all of which take an ethical or responsible angle.
Catherine’s recent publication is a responsible travel guide to New York State, which opened her eyes to all the many secrets that lie beyond Manhattan. She also contributes to many of the responsible tourism mini guides on responsibletravel.com, commenting on responsible tourism issues in different destinations. She has also written a travel app, Ireland Green Travel, found on iTunes app store and Google . Featuring over 120 entries of green accommodation, activities, transport options and local food experts, this guide shows users how to hike, bike, canoe and stay in some of Ireland’s lesser known green spots – lakeside lodges, yurt camps, island retreats, eco-castles, grand houses with more than just grand green gestures, yoga retreats and community-run hostels. It also has a guide on how to get to Ireland without flying, and also how to access each accommodation without a car.
Catherine published her first guidebook in June 2008, Ecoescape:Ireland. This is part of the Ecoescape series, founded by Laura Burgess. See Green Guide for details.
Catherine also writes for the travel industry. She currently writes the monthly Tourism for Tomorrow newsletter for the World Tourism and Trade Council (WTTC) In 2008 she was commissioned by Failte Ireland , the Irish Tourist Board, and Greenbox to produce Ireland’s first ever Ecotourism Handbook, launched March 2009 with an updated version due out soon. For Greenbox, she compiled a booklet featuring all tourist accommodation to have been awarded the EU Flower Ecolabel for best practice in ecotourism. Catherine also worked with Failte Ireland, the Irish Tourist Board, to write a new ecotourism section of their website. She wrote a Sustainable Tourism booklet for Visit England, launched at the Best of Britain and Ireland exhibition in London, March 2009, entitled 9 Reasons to be Green, and in 2011 edited and contributed to the 5th International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations Ezine . She speaks at many conferences on the subject of responsible tourism, including the World Travel Market conference, entitled The Business Case for Responsible Tourism in 2009 and, most recently at Gogobot’s conference on ecotourism, which you can see here.
In the last eighteen months, her travels have enabled her to explore many extraordinary places. However, for Catherine, the most exciting aspect of travelling, and what she likes to write about most of all, is the people she meets. The people who are really working to support a more responsible travel movement. Trips include weaving with the Berbers in Morocco, working with the Maasai in Kenya, walking across The Alps with a donkey, deep sea fishing off Ireland’s Mayo coast, swimming from island to island in Croatia, learning how to press olives in Crete, hiking across a wilderness wetland in Estonia, kayaking and wild camping off Inishowen Peninsula, Ireland’s northernmost point.