Transat renews its call for sustainable tourism projects



    
    Company has already partnered in eight environment and heritage
    protection initiatives
    

    MONTREAL, Jan. 13 /CNW Telbec/ - Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest
integrated tourism companies in the world, with a strong presence in Canada
and Europe, is renewing its call for projects in its 60 destination countries
to support initiatives that contribute to enhancing the tourism potential of a
community or region from a perspective of sustainability, and that are put
forward by not-for-profit organizations. Transat has thus far partnered in
eight sustainable tourism projects in Canada, France, Tunisia and Cuba.
    "We are very pleased to be supporting, through this program,
organizations that are committed to developing tourism destinations
responsibly and sustainably. Right from the inception of the program in 2007,
we were able to gauge the drive and dedication of increasing numbers of
communities and organizations who are ensuring the preservation and
enhancement of natural and cultural heritage, and practising tourism
development that cares about local populations and the environment. We are
working on various fronts to foster the sustainable development of our company
as well as our industry, and our support for projects at destination is part
of this multi-tiered approach," declared Lina De Cesare, President, Tour
Operators, Transat.
    Sustainable tourism entails respect for nature, as well as for host
communities and their values; it combines positive socio-economic benefits for
local populations with an enriching experience for travellers.
    Sustainable tourism proposals can focus on natural or cultural heritage,
including the restoration, protection, conservation or improvement of a
natural site or ecosystem, environmental enhancement or rehabilitation of an
existing tourist site, restoration or development of a heritage or historic
site or building, with a view to preserving it, as well as projects aimed at
diminishing the negative impacts related to tourism.
    The deadline for submission of applications is May 11, 2009, and selected
projects will be announced in the fall of 2009. Proposals will be reviewed and
their merit established by a committee composed of Transat staff members in
Canada and Europe. The application form and all details of the program can be
found on Transat's website (www.transat.com) in the section "Social
Responsibility - Our philanthropy policy."

    Eight projects supported in four countries

    In 2007 and 2008, Transat partnered with eight sustainable tourism
projects in four countries. In Canada, Transat lent its support to the
Seigneurie des Aulnaies, a tourism site focused on preservation and
preservation of historical heritage; to the Amis du marais de
St-Antoine-de-Tilly, an association that has been working for several years to
protect the banks of the St. Lawrence River; to L'Echappée bleue, a co-op that
is setting up a network of green lodges around Lac Saint-Jean; to Ontario
Nature, for its project to upgrade nature reserves; and to a green
accreditation project for the tourism industry put forward by the Frontenac
Arch Biosphere Reserve Network, in Ontario's Thousand Islands region.
    Transat is also actively supporting WWF-Canada, which has begun
developing an environmental management system in Cuba. In France, Transat has
become a major partner of Association De Navigatio, whose Cap eco-nav project
will raise awareness of green navigation practices. And in Tunisia, Transat is
supporting the Association pour le Développement Durable (ADD) in Médenine,
for its "Sensitive-zone rural innovation" project, a program focused on
heritage and rural tourism.

    About Transat

    Transat A.T. Inc. is an integrated international tour operator with more
than 60 destination countries and that distributes products in over 50
countries. A holiday travel specialist, Transat operates mainly in Canada and
Europe, as well as in the Caribbean, Mexico and the Mediterranean Basin.
Montreal-based Transat is also active in air transportation, accommodation,
destination services and distribution. (TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A).




For further information:

For further information: Jean-Michel Laberge, Advisor, Communications
and Corporate Affairs, (514) 987-1660, ext. 4662,
jean-michel.laberge@transat.com


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