Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas!

This time of year is a great time to visit family and friends, celebrate, practice those tricky yoga moves but also to catch up on reading.
I just discovered reviewing the Iles de la Madeleine tourism newsletter that the islands have launched their own water trail. I think we just missed the grande opening when we were there.

Prepared by the Centre intégré de développement touristique des Îles de la Madeleine (CIDTIM), in close collaboration with the Municipalité des Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the Îles-de-la-Madeleine ZIP Committee, the Water Trail Maps show 31 duly authorized launch sites. Used along with nautical charts, these maps provide all the pertinent information required to plan a safe excursion around the archipelago. The Maps, presented in both official languages, illustrate the suggested circuits and offer advice about local navigation conditions, distances between launching sites, special local conditions and services available to users.

This project is a part of the CIDTIM's 2008 action plan and fits neatly into the objectives of the overall tourism development policy of the Municipalité des Îles-de-la-Madeleine. Based on the concept of responsible tourism, this mapped (but unmarked) trail is designed to:

Prevent the deterioration of natural habitats by protecting them from uncontrolled traffic
Promote friendly relations between users and owners of waterfront properties
Improve safety for users
Create a new attraction, a new awareness and accrued economic benefits for the tourism industry.

This project was made possible through the partnership of Canada Economic Development, the Caisses populaires Desjardins des Îles, the Centre local de développement des Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the participation of members of the Regional Tourism Association.

I am definitely going to have to go back.

But it may also motivate the development of water trails in Newfoundland and Labrador. The idea came up at one of our recent AGMs and now with the Iles de Madeleine launch there may be renewed interest.

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