Cruise & Ferry Itinerary Planning 2023

8 0 ASSOCI ATION HIGHL IGHTS Reshaping cruising for good Nancy Houley tells Elly Yates-Roberts how Cruise the Saint Lawrence is prioritising sustainability The total contribution of travel and tourism to global GDP rose by 21.7 per cent in 2021, after a steep drop in 2020 due to Covid-19, according to market data organisation Statista. This contribution accounts for $5.81 trillion, approximately 6.1 per cent of global GDP. Despite this successful rebound, the tourism industry now faces the challenge of becoming more sustainable. Canadian organisation Cruise the Saint Lawrence – which comprises the nine ports of Montréal, Trois-Rivières, Québec, Saguenay, Baie-Comeau, Sept-Îles, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Gaspé and the Magdalen Islands – is working to grow cruise market activities across the region, now with an additional focus on environmental and social sustainability. “Our sustainability strategy is oriented towards partnerships with our destinations, and the cruise and marine industry,” says Nancy Houley, director of sustainable development at Cruise the Saint Lawrence. “The main goal is to reduce the impact of climate change and protect our host communities. For example, we want to foster a connection to shore power and electric transportation, as well as other solutions that make sense for our future.” As part of the strategy, Cruise the Saint Lawrence intends to incentivise sustainable behaviour by rewarding activities by critical stakeholders, including cruise lines. “All sustainability strategies need to rely on more than just rewards or punitive measures,” says Houley. “Everyone can contribute to this approach. What can be done, should be done.” For example, Cruise the Saint Lawrence will empower its visitors by helping them make more sustainable choices during their trips. “Destinations such as Montréal, Québec City and Saguenay have developed a carbon Photo: Laurent Silvani