James Chilton

James Chilton BA (Hons) BTP MSc MRTPI MIPI MTS

James is a Chartered Town Planner and tourism and recreation consultant based in Dublin. James has worked in a wide variety of occupations associated with the travel and tourism industry. Following two years working and traveling in New Zealand, Australia and throughout south-east Asia in his early 20’s, James returned to the UK to live in London. Between 1996 and 2000 he worked in the planning department of the Corporation of London (the local authority for London’s financial district); helped to manage a scuba diving training and holiday company, Global Dive; and as an adventure travel consultant for the holiday company Travelmood, specialising in dive holidays.

While at Travelmood James became increasingly concerned at the impacts of the outbound travel market and left to complete a master’s degree in Tourism, Conservation and Sustainable Development at the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, then based at Chatham, Kent. James moved to Ireland in 2001, carrying out a thesis on the economic impact of scuba diving and dolphin watching in Kilkee, Co. Clare. After a year or so working in Dublin James spent two years traveling and working in Central America, New Zealand and Borneo. James as employed by the New Zealand’s Department of Conservation as a Regional Recreational Planner between 2004 and 2005. This role included the strategic planning of recreational facilities over 60,000ha of department managed land, securing funding for facility development, visitor monitoring, public consultation and recreation facility management.

After returning to Dublin in 2005 James was employed by Dublin based firm Brady Shipman Martin where he provided advice to Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority – Fáilte Ireland in relation to sustainable tourism development and recreational trail development, as well as working with a range of public and private sector clients in the tourism and recreation industries. James was lead consultant on the Fáilte Ireland’s national historic town trails initiative which saw the introduction of historic town trails in 35 towns throughout the state.

James left Brady Shipman Martin in 2009 and set up his own consultancy (Rethink Tourism) specialising in tourism planning and development later that year. Recent work includes contributions to the UNWTO publication ‘Tourism Product Development Handbook’; tourism trail development in South Tipperary; tourism impact assessments for Fáilte Ireland; and a groundbreaking piece of work for Fáilte Ireland to determine best-practice and a methodological approach for Sustainability Appraisal of tourism destination plans in Ireland.

Over the last few years James has been engaged to work on a wide variety of interesting projects, all of which have the goal of maximising tourism and recreation opportunities with a focus on responsible tourism development.

James holds a BA (Hons) in Town and Country Planning and a postgraduate degree in Town Planning (Bristol); and an MSc in Sustainable Tourism Development. James is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute; the Irish Planning Institute; the Tourism Society; and Tourism Concern. With qualifications and experience in both town planning and the tourism and recreation industries James has a range of educational and employment backgrounds; and is able to balance the requirements of development planning and the tourism and recreation sectors.

James and his Dublin-born wife and their twin daughters live in Dublin. When he gets the opportunity he enjoys hiking, kayaking, diving and cycling in Dublin and the Wicklow Mountains. James also manages the Irish Centre for Responsible Tourism.