Transat renews its call for sustainable tourism projects

Company has already partnered in eight environment and heritage protection initiatives
Montreal, January 13, 2009

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’Échappée 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).

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