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ATTA Becomes a Strategic Partner of Planeterra to Support the Global Community Tourism Network

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Planeterra International Foundation and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) have entered into a strategic partnership developed around the organizations’ shared values of tourism as a means to empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their environment, and reduce poverty. 

Planeterra is a leading community tourism organization that works with local people to ensure they have the tools they need to prosper, the power to conserve their culture and environment, and the access they need to healthcare and education. Their work helps to ensure that more income generated from the tourism industry stays within the communities it impacts. 

Planeterra is partnering with ATTA to build a bridge between communities that are ready to host international travelers and global companies and organizations that specialize in responsible, sustainable, and respectful adventure travel. 

The partnership focuses on The Global Community Tourism Network, which seeks to provide training and resources to community organizations worldwide and a place to share knowledge, with the aim of growing social and environmental impact through livelihood creation in tourism. 

© ATTA / Hassen Salum / AdventureWeek Bogota 2021

The two organizations will collaborate to scale up the benefits of community tourism globally. Through this partnership, it is their shared goal that more community tourism enterprises are able to benefit from adventure travel as a way to earn income and improve lives. This means that: communities are better equipped to host adventure travelers; more adventure travel companies are able to access community tourism experiences and effectively integrate them into tours; and more adventure travelers are having experiences provided by community-owned, led, and run enterprises.

The two organizations will work to promote each other’s networks and benefits, scale up community tourism through collaboration on joint funding opportunities, and continue exploring new and innovative ways to increase the impacts of community tourism through the partnership.

Planeterra will support the development of a joint webinar for ATTA members on Community Tourism and how to work with communities and ATTA will participate in a webinar for Planeterra´s Network, on Adventure Travel and how to engage with the adventure trade community. Together they will work to connect ATTA members, a global community of adventure travel companies, organizations, and professionals with communities from the Global Community Tourism Network.

An example of one such community is Bike with Purpose, one of Planeterra’s longtime community partners, located on the remote island of Caye Caulker, Belize.  Students on the island often have to travel to the mainland to receive a quality education, resulting in many by the age of 12, deciding to quit school and join the workforce. Prior to the opening of Ocean Academy in Caye Caulker, only 35% of students continued past primary school. In partnership with Ocean Academy and Planeterra sought to create a student-led bicycle tour of the island, which is now called Bike with Purpose. Planeterra raised donations to fund needed bicycles and other materials. Planeterra also connected Bike with Purpose to our tourism partners. Bike with Purpose funds nearly 15% of the educational programs for the students at Ocean Academy. This is one of the many examples of how Planeterra uplifts communities through tourism. 

Photo from Bike with Purpose, one of Planeterra’s long-time community partners in Belize.

Planeterra and ATTA are committed to maintaining an open dialogue for collaboration opportunities to scale the benefits of community tourism through their membership programs. “There is a lot of potential for what we can do together by helping our members connect. ATTA Member organizations can feel confident when working with communities that are part of Planeterra’s Network. Ultimately, travelers will get novel experiences with communities that are ready for them and excited to welcome them,” said Mira Poling Anselmi, Community Director for ATTA. 

“We at Planeterra have long admired ATTA and its members’ work to make tourism more responsible,” said Jamie Sweeting, President, Planeterra “and we are very excited to engage the adventure travel sector in uplifting communities through supporting and developing community tourism enterprises globally.”

Future plans include a potential Community Tourism course or events at the regional, national, and global levels that could benefit members from both networks.

Learn more about Planeterra by visiting www.planeterra.org.

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