MONTREAL, April 23, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - At Montréal's upcoming Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) convention, that brings together sustainable event organizers from around the world, Tourism Minister Nicole Ménard will honour the environmental commitment of many Montréal tourism industry partners, with particular focus on the actions of the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal (AHGM), the Palais des congrès de Montréal (Montréal Convention Centre) and Tourisme Montréal, all of which are implementing programs to increase the environmental sustainability of their events.
According to Tourisme Montréal's 2011 annual visitor survey, 72% of business tourists think it is important for tourism destinations to respect the environment. The commitment to environmental protection, begun three years ago by Tourisme Montréal, is designed to make the city an increasingly green destination and ensure that event organizers recognize it as a leader in environmental sustainability.
"Business tourism is crucial to Québec's economy," declared Minister Ménard. "In 2010, that sector generated over $972 million, of which 70% came from outside Québec. I would like to congratulate the companies in Montréal's tourism industry that have adopted sustainable tourism practices. Their bold initiatives have made Montréal an international example of sound environmental management, thereby making us a front-runner in the green convention sector."
One of the city's most committed partners, the Palais des congrès de Montréal is a recognized green building that has attained level 3 BOMA BEST certification. It is currently working with a number of partners to implement a Sustainable Development Action Plan that will significantly reduce the environmental footprint of large-scale conventions, many of which have been certified in accordance with the Bureau de normalisation du Québec's Responsible Event Management standard (BNQ 9700-253). In fact, the Palais is the ideal location to hold sustainable events, given its easy accessibility by public transit and its exemplary approach to energy use which has enabled it to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 40% since 2005. One of the many ways the Centre is striving to be an agent of change is by offering a range of sustainable packages, as well as by setting up a program to collect items and materials not used during events.
Then there is the Culti-Vert Project, a rooftop container garden that produces a harvest of organic herbs, fruit and vegetables, part of which is donated to local community organizations. "We are extremely proud of our commitment to sustainable action because it delivers significant economic, environmental and social benefits, as well as making Montréal a prime contender for hosting large-scale sustainable events," asserts Marc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
"Environmental sustainability is more than just a trend in event organization; it is a profound change that is having a significant impact on the entire industry. Tourisme Montréal has made a decision to prioritize the green convention sector by listening to organizers and take an active role in identifying promising new ways to reduce the environmental footprint of events held in our city," stated the Honorable Charles Lapointe, President and Chief Executive Officer of Tourisme Montréal.
By setting up a green committee and hiring a sustainable tourism consultant, Tourisme Montréal has been able to undertake a number of initiatives in line with the green action plan it drew up in 2009. It provides a variety of training sessions that alert its members to the environmental issues specific to their location. It has also developed communication tools for the people involved in the city's tourism industry, such as a sustainable tourism newsletter, and a section devoted to environmental sustainability on Tourisme Montréal's website.
The Hotel Association of Greater Montréal (AHGM) has also contributed to the greening process by taking an active role on various committees. According to William E. Brown, Executive Vice President of the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal, "taking part in environmental initiatives is our way of showing social responsibility. Our members are increasingly committed to this cause and are prioritizing their sustainable initiatives in order to quickly and effectively reduce their environmental footprint. The AHGM supports its member establishments—among the greenest in Canada—throughout this process in order to reduce our collective environmental impact."
About the Hotel Association of Greater Montréal (AHGM)
The Hotel Association of Greater Montréal was created in 1949 and counts 77 accommodation facilities in the greater Montréal area among its members. For more information, visit www.ahgm.org.
About the Palais des congrès de Montréal
The mission of the Palais des congrès de Montréal is to attract and host conventions, exhibitions, consumer/trade shows, conferences, meetings and other events. A public institution with a commercial vocation, the Palais generates important economic spin-offs for Québec and has proudly contributed, for 27 years, to knowledge sharing and enhancing Montréal's international reputation as a first-class destination. For more information, please visit http://www.congresmtl.com/en/.
About Tourisme Montréal
Tourisme Montréal is responsible for providing leadership in the concerted efforts of hospitality and promotion in order to position the destination on leisure and business travel markets. It is also responsible for developing Montréal's tourism product in accordance with the ever-changing conditions of the market. For more information, please visit www.tourisme-montreal.org.
Tourisme Montréal wishes to thank the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire, as well as the Ministère du Tourisme du Québec for their invaluable involvement in our region's green initiatives.
For further information:
Source: Tourisme Montréal
Manager, Corporate Public Relations
Tourism Minister's Office
Advisor, Communications and Public Affairs
Société du Palais des congrès de Montréal
William E. Brown
Executive Vice President
Hotel Association of Greater Montréal