Montréal, October 18, 2007 – Tourisme Montréal is proud to be the first city in the world to sign the Geotourism Charter of the National Geographic Society. The Society’s choice of Montréal as the first signatory underscores the work Montréal has accomplished in tourism outreach and promotion as well as the active collaboration between the tourism and cultural stakeholders of Greater Montréal. Committing to respect and promote the Charter’s principles, Tourisme Montréal together with the two co-applicants for Montréal’s candidature to the Charter – the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED) and Héritage Montréal – signed the Charter at today’s press conference. The Mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay, also signed the Charter.
“We are thrilled about the recognition given to us by the National Geographic Society, a prestigious organization that contributes significantly to promoting responsible tourism,” said Charles Lapointe, president and CEO of Tourisme Montréal. “Montréal has long been recognized for its historic district, its creativity, and its festive spirit. Now our city can boast one more asset, namely, having been distinguished among the world’s largest tourism cities for its sound practices in cultural tourism.”
The recognition, awarded for the first time by the National Geographic Society, reflects the Society’s vision to adapt the Geotourism Charter to urban agglomerations. As a signatory, Montréal agrees to respect the 13 main principles of the Charter. For Montréal’s tourism development, this implies adopting an approach even more attuned to the city’s natural, heritage, and cultural character and which corresponds to UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism as well as to the principles of the International Cultural Tourism Charter of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS).
Tourisme Montréal wishes to acknowledge the combined efforts of all Montréal stakeholders who participated in the application, including the two co-applicants Héritage Montréal and the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED). The collaboration of the Ministère de la Culture et des communications du Québec, through its commitment to Montréal’s cultural tourism, was also invaluable for this achievement. Finally, Tourisme Montréal wishes to thank the National Geographic Society for this exceptional recognition of Montréal.
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Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market.