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ATTA’s Statement on US Travel Ban

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The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) opposes the recently announced travel ban. The travel ban, based on nationality, is contrary to the principles of freedom of travel and goodwill promoted by international tourism and will needlessly damage the tourism sector by depressing benefits in terms of economic growth, international relations, and job creation for many countries, including the USA.

The ATTA serves nearly 1,300 members in 100 different countries. Roughly 275 of those members are American companies, and several members offer trips to some of the countries named in the ban. They have already registered deep concern with us. ATTA member tour operators carry more than four million tourists per year, who spent approximately US$12 billion on trips in 2016 alone. This doesn’t account for the revenues earned by the members who sell gear, clothing, insurance, and myriad other products and services in the travel industry to those customers. Much of the spend in adventure travel is in rural and economically depressed regions and is a critical tool for poverty alleviation and issues such as wildlife and habitat protection.

All ATTA members sign a Values Statement upon joining to indicate support of key principles that guide our organization and thus our industry. We treat each other and travelers with respect and professionalism and conduct business with safety, honesty, and integrity. Informing part of our Values Statement is the UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, which includes (among many things) a belief that tourism contributes to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies, serves as a factor of sustainable development, and is a contributor to the cultural heritage of mankind and an enhancer of global relationships. It also affirms our belief in the liberty of tourist movement between destinations.

Travelers, as recently reported in new research by the ATTA, personally benefit from the expanded worldview and cultural experiences adventure travel offers. Many reported that “peace,” “freedom,” and a “broadened perspective” were important to them. This cultural understanding and exposure breeds tolerance, empathy, and understanding of others in the world. It is through travel that the ATTA believes people can move toward better cultural understanding and peace.


20 Comments to ATTA’s Statement on US Travel Ban

  1. Helen Nodland

    The gravity of this first step towards denying free passage throughout the world cannot be understated. Thank you for taking a stand.

  2. Hmm, not a word about safety, terrorism, etc…seems like people’s lives takes precedence over tourism and any dollars generated from it. I can only imagine had a similar ban been put in place on Sept 10, 2001, your response would have been identical.

    Please stay out of politics and focus on serving your members…ALL of your members who share different viewpoints.

  3. Our statement is simply a position that believes that travel is important for world peace and business and for issues around protection of place. We made the statement alongside hundreds of other companies to voice our concern that travel freedom is under threat. We appreciate that our membership has diverse views and respect that.

  4. While I respect that members have different views, I think in these confusing and divisive times, it’s important that we’re all reminded what the ATTA values are and what we all signed up to when we joined. Thanks for making this statement. I’m also proud to be a member.

  5. In one world, we are all World Citizins…why should some have more rights/benefits than others of this world belongs to all of us? Border are man-made and have shown to be a conflict of in interests. Thanks ATTA to have published a statement we all back-up and will fight for!
    [email protected]

  6. Ralph Proctor

    I’m a little confused! EVERY time there is a terrorist attack, tourism drops like a rock to that destination. Who suffers?
    The travel suppliers and their employees, that’s who. Let’s take France, for example, “In the first six months of the year, the number of overnight stays of foreign tourists in France fell by an average of 10%, due to concerns over the attacks, said Secretary of State for tourism promotion, Matthias Fekl, in an interview with the Sunday newspaper.”
    How much did U.S. tourism drop and indeed, tourism around the world after 9/11? Please set aside your “feel good” rhetoric and think about the consequences of an attack any where.
    As for a few people being inconvenienced because of the ban, think about YOUR convenience EVERY time you fly somewhere! And add in the extra costs now because of all the extra security! All because of terrorist attacks or attempts. Be sure and talk off your shoes – you might be a shoe bomber!
    If a few people are inconvenienced, then that is a very small price to pay to keep us a little safer. Get a grip folks, it was only a three-month ban to try and increase vetting from very troubled areas, most with no functional central government.

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