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Adventure Travel Trade Association releases values statement as membership prerequisite

Adventure Travel Trade Association releases values statement as membership prerequisite
April 3, 2013

Setting a precedent for the global adventure tourism sector, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has released a Values Statement designed as a new prerequisite of membership in the near 900-member global community representing more than 80 nations - to ensure members of its community put effort towards nurturing, protecting and professionalising sustainable development of the adventure tourism industry.

As a trade association made up of adventure tourism organisations including tour operators, destinations, travel agents, accommodation providers and others, committing to these values motivates members to move their businesses towards performing responsibly and considering the whole of their actions in the global community.

ATTA President Shannon Stowell explained "our newly established shared values were several years in the making and were formed through a collaborative process between the ATTA team, advisory board, our members and input from our partners at the UNWTO.

"As adventure tourism faces steep growth in the coming years, it is critical that we establish, commit to and act upon what we believe are the key values of our organisation and our members as a whole. How we conduct ourselves will set the highest standards of responsibility, of care-taking of the people and places upon which our industry depends."

With this announcement, ATTA members must now agree to the Values Statement prior to membership confirmation or renewal.

As a result, more than 100 members have voluntarily signed the Values.

In signing, ATTA members state that they too will strive and move toward these values (in brief):

1. Tourism Ethics ATTA affirms and agrees with the UNWTO's Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

2. Protection of Children ATTA believes in the protection of children from harmful effects of tourism and is a signatory of

3. Responsibility ATTA believes in the universal standards put forth by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), and that tourism businesses and destinations should adopt the criteria specifically in these four areas:

Demonstrating effective sustainable management;

Maximising social and economic benefits to the local community and minimising negative impacts;

Maximising benefits to cultural heritage and minimising negative impacts;

Maximising benefits to the environment and minimising negative impacts.

4. Community Principles established by the ATTA and its active Members when working under the auspices as aforementioned "will treat each other and travellers with respect and professionalism and conduct business with safety, honesty and integrity.

"As a community, we will seek to improve our own organisation's compliance with the points noted above. As a community, we will wherever possible seek to assist other organizations and professionals within the association to achieve success, both in the pursuit of the values noted above and in business."

When reviewing the values, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai stated "(the) UNWTO welcomes the ATTA Values Statement and encourages all ATTA members to promote and implement these principles in their activities as a means to build a more responsible tourism sector.

"UNWTO is particularly pleased to see that ATTA has incorporated the principles of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism approved by the UN General Assembly in 2001 in its Values Statement and commends ATTA's vision for the future of tourism."

ATTA has translated these Values into Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic and Mandarin Chinese with German and French versions pending.

Once members sign the Values they are encouraged to share these Values that they hold as part of the ATTA community with their travelers and clients.

Established in 1990, the Seattle-based Adventure Travel Trade Association, serves more than 900 members in 80 countries worldwide. Members predominantly include tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents and accommodations with a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism. The ATTA delivers solutions and connections that propel members towards their business goals and the industry toward a responsible and profitable future. Through its regional AdventureConnect events and annual Adventure Travel World Summit trade conference, the ATTA excels in professional learning, networking and partnering services. With expertise in research, education, adventure travel industry news and promotion, members of the ATTA receive competitive opportunities that help establish them as leaders in adventure tourism.

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