Adventure tourism on the up at IT Sligo


Parachute jumps, kayaking, surfing, canoeing, swimming, golfing, equestrian, hill walking, orienteering – IT Sligo  Adventure Tourism students get to experience  all of this and more!’ says Tourism Lecturer at IT Sligo, Joanna Sweeney.   She forecasts an increasing number of employment opportunities in this growth area in the coming years.  Despite the challenging year experienced by the Irish tourism sector, all of IT Sligo students have been successful in gaining paid work experience throughout Ireland, Europe and the US, underlying the demand for tourism graduates.

‘The North West of Ireland boasts numerous land and water based natural resources which are all unique in terms of Adventure Tourism. This form of tourism has been steadily increasing over the last number of years, given people’s drive for a healthier lifestyle coupled with unique holiday experiences.  At the recent Tourism Adventure and Activity Forum entitled ‘Get out there!’ Failte Ireland estimates that adventure tourism was worth €1.2 billion in 2008 to the Irish economy.

There are already a number of activities which people can engage in here in Sligo including surfing, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, golfing, equestrian, hill walking, orienteering and teambuilding holidays. IT Sligo offer students an opportunity to learn and engage in adventure tourism activities within the region as part of their degree entitled Bachelor of Business in Tourism.  Students take a weekly trip to an activity tourism provider to learn about the challenges for them in their business but also to do the activity. For some , this may be the first time to experience all the highs and lows (literally!) of Adventure Tourism within the North West region.

We are seeing huge growth in Adventure Tourism, particularly along the Western Seaboard where a whopping 73% of Adventure Tourism Activities are based.  This has the potential to provide a range of employment prospects for IT Sligo tourism graduates.  Adventure tourists  in Ireland, who come mostly from Britain and Europe primarily come to Ireland between April and September (over 60%). Two-thirds of these come on short breaks (1 – 3 nights).  Those on longer holidays (4+ nights) are more likely to participate in adventure tourism activities (61% – rising to two-thirds of those staying 6 or more nights).

There is also a proliferation of new and more extreme activities happening in Ireland at the moment such as, BASE jumping (parachute off buildings/cliffs), coasteering (jump off cliffs into the sea), speedriding (skiing meets hang-gliding),canyoning (using a variety of activities while travelling through a canyon) while Volunteering  on holidays is yet another option for rural and regional tourism businesses such as farm tourism or food based tourism activities giving the tourist the opportunity to learn about the place and the traditions.

If you would like to apply for the three year tourism degree at IT Sligo and learn all about adventure tourism log on to and and apply for course number SG135 or call Joanna Sweeney at 071 91 37211, email:

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Students currently studying the BB in Tourism at IT Sligo taking the subject Adventure tourism. For further information log on to and and apply for course number SG135 or call Joanna Sweeney at 071 91 37211, email:

For further information contact:

Joanna Sweeney

P: 071 91 37211,