Transat renews its programme to financially support sustainable tourism projects
Mon 14 Jan 2008 – Transat A.T., the Canadian group that includes the airline Air Transat and is one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world, has renewed its programme launched in 2007 to financially support sustainable tourism projects proposed by communities or not-for-profit organizations in any of the company’s 60 destination countries.
The programme is designed to help develop projects with a sustainable approach and that have the potential to increase a community’s tourism possibilities. Projects are eligible for financial support of up to $50,000, or 35,000 euros, each.
Proposals can focus on natural or cultural heritage, including:
·the restoration, protection, conservation or improvement of a natural site or ecosystem;
·the environmental enhancement or rehabilitation of an existing tourist site;
·the restoration or development of a heritage or historic site or building, with a view to preserving it; and
·projects aimed at diminishing the negative impacts related to tourism.
As a result of the 2007 programme, Transat is helping to fund four projects in Canada and Cuba. It is:
·supporting WWF-Canada in its three-year project working with the Cuban government in laying the groundwork for a sustainable tourism policy to help protect that country’s ecosystems;
·funding a green-accreditation project being implemented by the Frontenac Arch Biosphere Reserve (a UNESCO biosphere reserve located in Ontario), aimed at the area’s businesses and organizations;
·joining forces with the Seigneurie des Aulnaies, the interpretation centre of the most complete seigniorial system in Quebec, for the implementation of its five-year plan to, among other things, protect and maintain its historic buildings and modernize its reception structures; and
·supporting the citizens group Les Amis du Marais of Saint-Antoine-de-Tilly, near Quebec City, which has been working for the past 10 years to protect and develop the recreational-tourism potential of a marsh area and trail along the banks of the St. Lawrence River.
“Our programme achieved its objectives in 2007; that’s why we decided to continue it this year and to expand its reach,” said Jean-Marc Eustache, President and CEO of Transat. “The concept of sustainable development is gaining ground in the tourism industry, both in our source and destination countries. We are very pleased to support communities that are taking control of the preservation and enhancement of their cultural and natural heritage.”
The application form and programme details can be found on Transat’s website. Applications will be reviewed and their merit established by two committees composed of Transat staff members in Canada and Europe. Applications have to be submitted by April 14, and the names of the selected projects will be announced later in the year.