Partnership between CED and National Geographic Society Achieves First Milestone

    MONTREAL, Oct. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - A first accomplishment was born of the
partnership concluded last February between the CED and the National
Geographic Society. As such, Montreal today becomes the world's first
signatory urban destination of the Geotourism Charter established by
National Geographic Society.
    At the initiative of the CED and in collaboration with Tourisme Montréal,
a work meeting took place on February 20, 2007 in which participated
Cheryl M. Hargrove, assistant director of the Center for Sustainable
Destinations of the National Geographic Society, André Vallerand, president of
the CED, as well as many Montreal stakeholders. The meeting, intended to
discuss possibilities for adopting a geotourism approach for Montreal, was a
great success with some dozen Montreal organizations attending the meeting.
    "I'm very pleased about the fact that today, only eight months after that
first meeting, we can announce Montreal's signature of the Geotourism Charter
of the National Geographic Society," said André Vallerand, president of the
CED. "This accomplishment is the first concrete result from the partnership
agreement between the CED and the National Geographic Society. The goal of the
agreement is to define the parameters that will help tourism destinations
reach and maintain excellence in many regards by adhering to a list of
criteria that will allow them to develop their strengths and distinguish
themselves from the competition."
    Excellence of services offered to tourists, respect for the environment,
quality of life of the population, and a rich cultural and historical heritage
are among the main criteria of the Geotourism Charter. By complying with the
Charter's set of regulations, the signatories will enjoy global visibility and
associated economic spin-offs.

    The mission of the World Centre of Excellence for Destinations (CED), a
non-profit organization based in Montreal, is to support the Destinations
Council of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) by valorizing
and developing the expertise of destinations. The CED serves as a catalyst for
partnerships and collaborations with public and private stakeholders that have
an expertise that could improve the performance of tourism destinations.

    UNWTO, headquartered in Madrid, Spain, is the United Nations agency
specialized in tourism. In addition to its 150 member countries - among them
Canada - it has some 300 affiliate or associate members, including private
businesses, non-profit organizations, associations, as well as teaching
institutions that are active in tourism. UNWTO plays a central and decisive
role in promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism
as a motor of economic and social development, international understanding,
peace, and prosperity.

For further information:

For further information: Nathalie Laberinto, (514) 871-1115,; Source: Centre mondial d'Excellence des Destinations

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