Sustainable tourism is vital. Most of us can agree upon this. We want destinations that will be beautiful and attractive today — and also in 100 years. That’s the principle that guided Tourisme Montréal’s proactive sustainability strategy. It’s a strategy toward what we term a harmonious destination — a city where the coexistence of residents and tourists is gloriously, harmoniously integrated.
Making events more sustainable
Business Events Montréal has got the professional experts as well as the tools you need to help you organize a sustainable event in Montréal easily and with singular aplomb. But regardless of where you’re planning your next event, here are four simple ways that you can ensure it’s more ecologically sustainable:
Make travel carbon neutral. Most airlines now offer the opportunity to offset carbon emissions while booking the ticket, plus organizations such as Montréal’s own Carbone boréal can also help.
Make environmentally sensitive menu choices. Food production is responsible for up to a third of greenhouse gas emissions around the world. Find some tips here, but in short, serve less meat and dairy, and more locally grown veggies.
Partner with ecologically sensitive venues. Many event venues have attained modern environmental standards. Montréal’s own convention centre, Palais des congrès, is one of the first in the Americas to have a carbon-neutral building. Look for venues with stringent commitments to sustainability.
Educate your attendees on how they can individually make differences. Send a gentle reminder to attendees about the ways that they can limit their ecological footprint. Suggestions might include using public transit, bringing personal water bottles, reusing hotel towels, and more.
For more specific resources and guidance, consult our Guide to Best Practices for Sustainable Business Events! Business Events Montréal is here to help create a more sustainable events industry here and everywhere.
Sustainability as a strategy
Tourisme Montréal’s ambitious, overarching Sustainable Destination Policy concerns, of course, the environment, but it also addresses social impact. Its objective is to create a regenerative, community-minded tourism movement that results in a harmonious destination that strikes the right balance between sound management of tourist activities and respect for the quality of life in Montréal’s residential neighbourhoods.
The policy aims to:
- Help business cultures in the tourism sector adapt;
- Promote harmonious cohabitation of the local population and tourists;
- Make the destination resilient economically, socially, culturally and environmentally; and
- Reduce the environmental footprint of tourism development.
Three concrete examples
The strategy has comprehensive ambitions, one example of which is our carbon offsetting tool. It was created by Tourisme Montréal in collaboration with Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) and Carbone boréal so that visitors can calculate the emissions linked to various types of transport, tourist attractions, hotel stays and more. With the data it provides, visitors can easily offset the greenhouse gas emissions of their trip.
Another example that highlights the social impact piece of Montréal’s sustainable tourism strategy is the Murelles project. The initiative by Tourisme Montréal, MU and Montréal centre-ville beautified two downtown alleyways with fresh greenery, urban furniture and colourful art — and that’s just the start. There are 20 more alleys planned over the next five years, all in view of a tourism experience that is community-focused, harmonious and regenerative.
For a last example that illustrates the role everyone has to play in this strategy, there’s our visitor’s pledge. This verbal contract, extended to everyone who calls Montréal home, be it for a day or a lifetime, asks us all to buy-in to a bright tomorrow by leaving only footprints, exploring sustainably, supporting local industry, celebrating difference and sharing the love with the Montréal community. Because we’re all in this together.
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