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Montreal, host of World Environment Day 2020, becomes the first Canadian city to join the Global Destination Sustainability Index (GDS-Index). The destination now forms part of the global destination sustainability movement, that seeks to engage, inspire and enable urban centers to become more regenerative places to visit, meet and thrive in. The GDS-Index is delighted that Montreal has chosen such a significant day to announce its membership of the global performance improvement program.

Initiated by Tourisme Montreal, a private, non-profit organization that plays a leading role in the management and development of Montréal’s tourism offer, the initiative will:

  • Benchmark the sustainability performance of Montreal, in tourism, meetings and events
  • Support the development of a sustainability strategy for Tourisme Montreal, that reunites the city’s key stakeholders behind a bold initiative
  • Increase awareness of, and integrate, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into the events and visitor economy
  • Inspire clients to prize destinations with solid event sustainability initiatives
  • Share the responsible business initiatives and regenerative practices of Tourisme Montreal with their clients, peers, and the world

The breaking of the COVID-19 crisis has brought devastating effects on economies worldwide—not least for the tourism sector. However, Tourisme Montreal had already started to think forward, posing itself questions to reboot the sector, such as “How can we use tourism and events to transform our society?” and “How can tourism be pivotal to the solution?”

Tourisme Montreal’s journey towards regeneration and sustainability provides an opportunity for renewed city-wide collaboration behind bold initiatives that promote the greatest assets of Montreal—innovation, creativity, as well as its position as the leading destination for business events in North America.

Guy Bigwood, managing director of the GDS-Index, comments: “Montreal is already recognized as a pioneer, with tangible assets in innovation and creativity, great cooperation between Tourisme Montreal and its partners and suppliers. Tourisme Montreal has a great opportunity to create new advantage and push the city forward to become the leading sustainable destination in North America. We are delighted that they have decided to join the GDS-Index and even more that they have chosen such a momentous day to do so.”

Yves Lalumiere, CEO of Tourisme Montreal, adds, “Tourisme Montreal has always stood for innovation and forward-thinking. We strongly believe that committing to such strategy, alongside our partners, members and suppliers, will create a positive impact on the local communities, promote the harmonious cohabitation of residents and tourists, encourage responsible tourism and develop sustainable commercial actions that are conducive to growth. Following the impact of the pandemic on the tourist industry, there is no doubt that we must build it back upon the principles of sustainable development.”

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