After two years of work by volunteers from around the globe, the second edition of the Adventure Travel Guide Standard (ATGS) was published in 2021 by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). As written into the governance section of the ATGS, it is required to convene a board to govern the initiative, coordinate outreach, and eventually lead the revision process (every five years). The first Governance Board meeting of the 2nd edition will be held on 23 March 2022.
Governance Board Meeting and Information Session – Open to All
23 March @ 7am PT/ 14:00 UTC
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At this meeting, we will elect officers for the next term and discuss outreach strategies. The meeting will be open to all who want to learn more about this initiative and ways they can support it. Additionally, there are several open board seats, and we would like people interested in joining the board to sign up to attend the meeting. Governance Board members meet some or all the following criteria:
- Guide adventure trips or tours professionally either full time or part-time
- Recruit, train and/or manage professional adventure travel guides
- Help set or oversee policies, certifications, or have general legal expertise relating to adventure travel guiding
Specific gaps in representation include Asia, Africa, and Oceana.
The Importance of Standards for Adventure Travel Guides
Guides are central to the delivery of professional, responsible, and memorable adventure travel experiences. Adventure travel as a sector has grown rapidly in recent decades, especially during the lockdowns of the COVID-19 pandemic. This growth has led to an increase in demand for professional adventure travel guides and the need for an accessible, clear, and universal adventure travel guide standard.
The groundbreaking first edition of the Adventure Travel Guide Standard (originally titled Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard) was published in 2016. To create the first edition, a working group was formed with volunteers from over 15 countries and included guides, business owners, and industry partners to create the standard. While adventure travel guides have numerous certifications and best practices they need to be aware of, at the time of release there was no global standard tied together the complex and expansive components of being a quality adventure travel guide.
The ATGS quickly became a useful tool for academic institutions, companies, destinations, and training programs. For example, the ATTA created a robust 5-day training program harnessing the ATGS that has been delivered around the globe.
The 2nd Editon of the ATGS
To create the 2nd Edition, volunteers who serve on the ATGS governance board compiled input from industry meetings and gatherings on what the 1st Edition got right and what needed to be changed or updated. Over the course of the two years, small teams took this input and combined it with their own experiences and expertise to rebuild the standard piece-by-piece. Outside expertise was tapped such as the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics and animal welfare in tourism experts, ANIMONDIAL. Like the 1st Edition, where existing best-practices were published and available, those sources were referenced, such as the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 21101:2014 for Adventure Travel.
A key addition to the 2nd Edition is the inclusion of the three core responsibilities of an adventure travel guide. These include Sustainability, Safety, Quality, and Meaning. These core responsibilities are at the heart of each guide no matter where in the world they guide and in what capacity.
The future for the ATGS is to ramp up outreach throughout the globe and to get more guides involved in the initiative. To read more on the creation of the 2nd edition of the ATGS, read this article published in 2021.