Montréal, March 31, 2008 – Environmental management challenges are vital issues for all organizations in today’s world. The very nature of travel makes the tourism industry one of the sectors most closely touched by these problems. Moreover, several tourism stakeholders in Montréal and elsewhere have already taken commitments to limit the environmental impact of their actions. In this regard, the concerted vigilance of the convention industry comes to mind.
In response to this major and unprecedented challenge, Tourisme Montréal together with the tourism industry very recently embarked on an impressive plan to go green. This comprehensive approach has two phases:
1) With the participation of our organization’s employees, the board of directors ratified the implementation of a Guide to the Green Office that will facilitate a change of habits and a commitment to embrace the change. This guide not only includes important measures for recycling and reducing consumption in terms of office supplies and energy, but also enables concrete initiatives:
- Tourisme Montréal pledges a financial contribution to Montréal awareness-raising and re-greening organizations to help compensate the impact of employee travel on the environment
- The organization will also include an eco-responsibility provision in the contracts of its suppliers
- Tourisme Montréal will ensure that Montréal events requiring funding from its Event Assistance Program have taken steps to be ecologically friendly
These measures have been in effect since February 2008.
2) Aware of the need to deal with the considerable issues faced by the tourism industry, Tourisme Montréal will oversee the creation of a Montréal Tourism Industry Green Committee that will put in place an action plan to help reduce the impact on the environment despite the anticipated growth of the industry.
In particular, this Committee will ensure the implementation of a policy that will introduce environmental management practices and call on the individual and collective accountability of companies. Using a series of indicators, it will be possible to measure the impact of the Montréal tourism industry activities on the environment and make changes to the policy guidelines as needed.
Chaired by Tourisme Montréal, the committee is made up of representatives from the organization’s promotional members: Association des hôtels du grand Montréal, Aéroports de Montréal, Palais des congrès, ToHu, Transat Chair in Tourism of UQAM, JPDL, Montréal’s Nature Museums, and Vélo-Québec. Other members from different tourism sectors will soon join the existing Committee.
The success of such a project depends unquestionably on the adoption of common goals by a great number of tourism and cultural companies. Meanwhile, the recent recognition of Montréal by the National Geographic Society for being the first city in the world to sign the Geotourism Charter, as well as the accreditation of quality just obtained from Destination Marketing Association International, amply demonstrate the commitment of the entire Montréal tourism industry to unite and make Montréal an environmentally responsible city and pioneer in sustainable tourism.
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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.