Michel Lemay, Vice-President, Communications and Corporate Affairs, of Transat A.T. Inc., has been elected Vice-Chair of Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI), a Madrid-based group of international tour operators which, together with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), have been promoting sustainable tourism for almost a decade. Transat became the sole North American TOI member in 2008.
“Our industry continues to mobilize in support of sustainable development and TOI is making a remarkable contribution,” Mr. Lemay remarked. “Through their international co-operative action and their engagement at destinations, TOI and its members exemplify a very strong desire and determination to ensure that tourism remains the economic development generator that it is today, with an overriding respect for communities and the environment.”
Transat introduced a sustainable tourism program in 2006. It includes increased environmental protection initiatives, support for sustainable tourism projects at destinations, promotion of best practices with suppliers and raising awareness of its employees and travellers.
Andreas Müseler of German tour operator REWE Touristik has been elected Chair of TOI, replacing Tom Selanniemi of Finnish tour operator Aurinkomatkat-Suntours, who had held the post for the last seven years.
Based in Madrid, where it is hosted by the UNWTO, TOI includes Accor (France), Atlas Voyages (Morocco), Aurinkomatkat-Suntours (Finland), Dynamic Tours (Morocco), FreeWay Adventures (Brazil), KEL 12 (Italy), Kuoni Travel Holding Ltd. (Switzerland), NES Travel (Turkey), REWE Touristik (Germany), Sahara Tours International (Morocco), Settemari (Italy), Steppes Discovery (United Kingdom), Studiosus (Germany), TLB Destinations (Lebanon), Transat A.T. Inc. (Canada), Travel Walji’s PVT (Pakistan), TUI Travel PLC (United Kingdom).