Dark Sky Ecotourism

About the Project

Dark Sky Ecotourism is an innovative vocational education project which is exploring the dark skies combined with ecotourism, a powerful combination for sustainable rural tourism.

Dark Sky Ecotourism is an innovative vocational education project which seeks to produce a rise in the number of remote, rural European tourism businesses which develop innovative products and services based on the opportunities afforded by Dark Sky Ecotourism.

The project partners involved are committed to sustainability – economic, social, and environmental and are passionate about their shared mission to help refocus European tourism to be more sustainable and resilient in the wake of the COVID19 pandemic. The project (like everything we do at momentum!) is ambitious. It seeks to create impact via greater socio-economic and labour market inclusion, especially in remote/rural regions which continue to be typified by brain drain and the destabilization that brings.

The project draws on experiences from some of our past EU work. For example, Dark Sky Ecotourism offers a form of frugal innovation as it taps into two free resources – the night sky and nature. The project will achieve its ambitions and impact via the development and roll-out of four key results:

  • Dark Sky Ecotourism Guide introduces the concept of dark sky ecotourism, the opportunities it presents and how it aligns to current/future consumer trends in context of the “great tourism reset”.
  • The Dark Sky Audit and Ecotourism Assessment Tool includes online, interactive diagnostic tools 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.
  • The 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.
  • European Dark Sky Ecotourism App 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 and ecotourism.

Project Manager

Our Project Managers

Grace Roche – Head of EU Project’s

A firm believer in open innovation and transnational cooperation Grace is head of our EU project team. She brings strategic direction to our work by building and maintaining powerful EU connections and originating game changing projects. Her passion projects are those which create impact on rural economies and communities, foster inclusion and embrace next generation digital technology.  

Grace has over 10 years’ experience working on EU projects, is an entrepreneur and has a strong academic background with a BA in New Media and English and continuing professional development in the realms of education, communications and marketing. Grace lives on a dairy farm in rural South East Galway with her husband Raymond and their son Paddy. She affectionately calls the milking parlour on the farm her ‘Think tank’ as she some of her best ideas have come to her there. 

LinkedIn: Grace Roche | LinkedIn 

Email: grace@momentumconsulting.ie  


Mark Bolger – Sustainability and Bio-economy Specialist  

Mark is Momentum’s specialist in Sustainability and Bio-economy with an interest in the food sector, the natural environment, and how regenerative practices can benefit communities.  Believing that many small steps can make a big difference, Mark works on projects that provide accessible educational resources to small businesses and communities. 


With a degree in Natural Science from Trinity College Dublin and a post-graduate diploma from University College Dublin in Design Thinking for Sustainability, Mark combines his science and environmental policy background with his skills in user-centred design to create impactful solutions for the projects he works on. Outside the office, Mark spends a lot of time outdoors racing and coaching sailing. 


LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/markpbolger/  

Email: mark@momentumconsulting.ie