Montreal, January 14, 2008
Transat A.T. Inc., one of the largest integrated tourism companies in the world, with a strong presence in Canada and France, is renewing its program to provide financial support for sustainable tourism projects proposed by communities or not-for-profit organizations in any of the company’s approximately 60 destination countries.
The program, launched in 2007, is designed to help organizations that need financial support to develop projects with a sustainable tourism approach and that have the potential of increasing a community’s tourism possibilities. Projects are eligible for financial support of up to $50,000, or 35,000 euros, each.
“Our program 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 Chief Executive Officer 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.”
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.
Transat is the largest tour operator in every region of Canada, with a strong market presence under the Transat Holidays, Nolitours and Air Transat brands, among others. It distributes its products through thousands of travel agencies, including under its own brands: Marlin Travel, Club Voyages, Voyages en liberté, TravelPlus, exitnow.ca and tripcentral.ca. In 2007, Transat sold more than a million sun destination vacation packages to Canadians.
With a major presence in France since the company was founded in 1987, Transat is the parent of tour operators Look Voyages, Vacances Transat, Brokair and Amplitude Internationale. Transat is also involved in holiday distribution in France through nearly 70 travel agencies operating under the Club Voyages and Look Voyages brands. In Europe, Transat also acts as an outgoing tour operator for travel from the UK to Canada (Canadian Affair) and an incoming tour operator in Greece (Tourgreece), in addition to selling packages and air fare to Canada in some 10 other European countries.
2008 edition of the program
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 application form and all details of the program can be found on Transat’s website (www.transat.com) in the “Philanthropy” section under “About Transat.” Applications will be reviewed and their merit established by two committees composed of Transat staff members in Canada and Europe. Applications must be received by this April 14, and the names of the selected projects will be announced in the fall of 2008.
Results of the 2007 edition of the program
In 2007, Transat announced on November 14 that it had decided to help fund four sustainable tourism projects in Canada and Cuba.
- It is supporting the World Wildlife Fund Canada (WWF-Canada), which is working with the Cuban government on a three-year project to lay the groundwork for a sustainable tourism policy to help protect that country’s ecosystems.
- It is 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.
- Transat is 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.
- Finally, Transat is 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.
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, destination services, accommodation and distribution. (TSX: TRZ.B, TRZ.A)