Research Projects

Anita Conefrey

Current Research Masters Student

Assess the carbon footprint of Irish Tourism and developing a stakeholder based decarbonising toolkit

Ms. Anita C. Conefrey has worked across a board spectrum of the tourism industry and has developed a keen interest in promoting sustainable tourism. Ms Conefrey graduated from the Institute of Technology Sligo in 2019 with a BSc (Hons) in Tourism with Event Management and was awarded a first-class classification. Additionally, Ms Conefrey achieved the highest dissertation results for creating ‘A Profile of Agritourism Entrepreneurs in Ireland’ which utilised a mixed methods approach – enabling Ms Conefrey to develop the research skills of employing both quantitative and qualitative methodology analysis.

In November 2020, Ms Conefrey successfully completed the Research Integrity Training programme provided by Epigeum (Online Course System) and has received certificates for: Research Integrity: Concise (core course), Human subjects protections (specialist course), Conflict of interest (specialist course) and Safety and health (specialist course).

In February 2021, Ms Conefrey completed an online Sustainable Gardening course, lectured by Aoife Munn (MSc of Horticulture) with sponsorship from Dublin City Council, Fingal County Council, Bray District Council and Bray Tidy Towns. This course was designed to help you reduce your waste, plant for biodiversity, learn key planting skills, improve your local area and meet other likeminded people. Ms Conefrey has also joined IT Sligo’s Organic Gardening Society.

Ms Conefrey’s research interests are focused on sustainable destination management. More specifically, de-carbonising the tourism industry to aid the transition towards a low-carbon economy and mitigate climate change – in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Currently, Ms Conefrey has been recruited by the ‘Tourism Review Journal’ to review manuscripts submitted to them, in regard to de-carbonising the tourism industry.

Research project

In October 2019, Ms Conefrey was awarded the CUA bursary to complete her postgraduate research studies in alliance with IT Sligo, GMIT and LYTI. Ms Conefrey’s research is currently seeking to assess the carbon footprint of Irish tourism by generating baseline findings, to mitigate climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions for sustainable destination management in Ireland. In addition, this research seeks to improve our understanding of national decarbonising strategies – to develop a stakeholder based de-carbonising toolkit. This research sets out to examine content that is published online in relation to assessing the carbon footprint of tourism and compare national tourism strategies that are in place to de-carbonise the tourism industry. Ms Conefrey’s supervisors are Dr James Hanrahan (IT Sligo), in collaboration with John Carty (GMIT) and Dr Conor Mc Tiernan (LYIT). Ms Conefrey’s research will inform the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, and Fáilte Ireland (the National Tourism Development Authority of Ireland) of the level of greenhouse gas emissions emitted by the tourism industry along with the strategies required to de-carbonise the industry.



Ms A Conefrey, Dr J Hanrahan, Mr J Carty and Dr C Mc Tiernan. Assessing The Carbon Footprint Of Irish Tourism  An Emergent Study. Jan 17, 2020. Poster Presentation at the Connacht-Ulster Alliance (CUA) Research Symposium 2020, Sligo Park Hotel, Sligo, Ireland.