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. Tourisme Montréal understands this. We’re moving towards a more proactive and strategic role in the management of our destination, where the coexistence of residents and tourists is harmoniously integrated. It’s all part of a new strategy.
Moving toward sustainability
Tourisme Montréal recently unveiled an ambitious Sustainable Destination Policy that concerns, of course, the environment, but one that also addresses social impact. The objective is to build back better — after the challenges of a global pandemic — by being part of a regenerative, community-minded tourism movement. The sustainable destination strategy will strike the right balance between sound management of tourist activities and respect for the quality of life in Montréal's residential neighbourhoods.
The policy will be based on the following four pillars:
- Help business cultures in the tourism sector adapt.
- Promote harmonious cohabitation of the local population and tourists.
- Make the destination resilient.
- Reduce the environmental footprint of tourism development.
A small example
The strategy has comprehensive ambitions. One example is the development of a carbon offsetting tool — thanks to a collaboration with Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) and Carbone Boréal — so that visitors can offset their greenhouse gas emissions from their trip. The tool will make it possible to calculate the emissions linked to various types of transport, but also to visits to tourist attractions, stays in hotels, and meals in restaurants.
In the coming months we’ll share more about the new sustainability strategy. We’ll also be sharing a guide for sustainable events!
Making events more sustainable
Regardless of where your event is taking place, here are four simple ways that you can ensure your event is more ecologically sustainable.
- Make travel carbon neutral. Most airlines now offer the opportunity to offset carbon emissions while booking the ticket. But organizations such as Montréal's own Carbone boréal can also help.
- Choose environmentally sensitive menu choices. Food production is responsible for up to a third of greenhouse gas emissions around the world. 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 Palais des congrès is one of the first convention centres 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!