Announcing the Industry’s First Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard

9 September 2015

guidestandard_cover-724x1024The volunteer industry working group facilitated by the Adventure Travel Trade Association is pleased to share the penultimate version of the adventure travel industry’s first ever Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard. The product of working group meetings since January, 2015, the standard is posted for industry feedback and will be discussed at the upcoming Adventure Travel World Summit in Puerto Varas, Chile in two sessions.

Recognizing the rapid expansion of adventure tourism which is bringing an influx of both new travelers and new companies to the market, many private companies, individuals and governments around the world appealed to the ATTA to spearhead an effort to articulate a standard for adventure travel guides. In response, ATTA formed a working group and invited interested industry stakeholders to join the group in November, 2014. The group included 17 people from 15 different countries.

This standard is offered to the industry as a voluntary guideline. It is not enforced or regulated by the ATTA or any other organization. Governments, destination managers, and company owners are encouraged to refer this standard when evaluating the quality and performance of their own guides and determining appropriate training programs. Both new and experienced guides may refer to the standard as benchmark for evaluating their own performance.

© ATTA / Hassen Salum
Oleg from Aventuras Mexico Profundo telling us a little about the flora and fauna of Baja Sur © ATTA / Hassen Salum

The ATTA hopes that by promoting and distributing this standard, which provides a clear description of excellence in adventure travel guiding, it will help governments and countries around the world better manage and supportively grow their adventure travel markets. Destinations can use this standard to help frame their regulatory approach to adventure travel. Particularly in destinations where adventure travel is a new commercial area with a large number of informal businesses, the standard serves as a resource for understanding what is important in adventure travel and what excellent adventure travel guiding entails.

The standard may also be used by destinations to help obtain funding for training and development: by having a document that clearly describes excellent adventure travel guiding, it is possible to see where gaps in a destination’s level of service may exist. Finally, the standard can be used when evaluating and selecting potential local trainers.

Companies, guides and destination managers are encouraged to review the standard and officially sign the document, signalling their support and intention to adhere to the best practice components of adventure travel guiding. To sign your name to the standard, please fill out the form here.

Guide Standard Governance Board

The Adventure Travel Guide Qualifications and Performance Standard will be overseen by a Governance Board made up of volunteers including guides and other interested industry professionals. The board will ensure and oversee the ongoing maintenance of the Standard with responsibilities including: conducting outreach throughout the world informing businesses and governments about the Standard, assisting in efforts to implement the standard, and accepting, documenting and incorporating relevant feedback and suggestions.

If you would like to nominate someone or participate on the governance board yourself, you may provide your information here.

Invitation to Support the Adventure Travel Guide Standard

Destination managers, companies and individual guides are invited to sign their name to the standard, signalling their commitment to the Adventure Travel Guide Standard's principles and dedication to implementing its requirements.