The values of sustainable tourism can be experienced differently from one country to another, from one organisation to another. Seeking to learn from these differences and even similarities and trying to position oneself in relation to them is part of a continuous improvement process.
It was in this exploratory spirit that, at the end of October, from October 24 to 28, accompanied by ISTO Americas, a delegation from the Auberges de jeunesse 17 de Charente-Maritime (AJ17) and members of the United Youth Hostels Federation (FUAJ), visited four Quebec youth hostels belonging to the Saintlo collective, the main player in the youth tourist accommodation sector in Quebec.
The hostels visited were in Montreal on 24 October, Quebec City on 25 October, La Malbaie on 26 October and Rivière-Du-Loup on 27 October. During these visits, the different stakeholders were able to share with the French participants their economic model - the profitability that complements the achievement of the mission - their vision of local tourism and the social initiatives that stem from it, as well as to exchange on common issues such as the future of post-pandemic youth tourism, or the human resources challenges that the tourism sector is currently facing.
This first tripartite meeting between ISTO Americas, AJ17 and Saintlo (the latter two being members of ISTO) constitutes the first steps towards a sustainable collaboration. Different visions and angles of approach regarding equipment management and the notions of economic and social profitability were the themes addressed during this mission. Questions and reflections allowed to have a high-quality experience and to exchange ideas in groups.
Although the Quebec tour is over, this collaboration and exchange is not. In March 2023, a delegation from Saintlo, accompanied by ISTO Americas, will visit Charente-Maritime to continue this exchange of views on their respective realities so that common projects may emerge that will meet the needs of the French and Quebec associations and contribute to their success.