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Industry First: Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard Released

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guidestandard_cover-724x1024(SEATTLE) February 23, 2016 – In an effort to support the adventure travel industry as it continues to expand and professionalize, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA; has facilitated the creation of the industry’s first ever Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard (or “Guide Standard”). A volunteer industry working group developed the standard between the months of November 2014 and January 2016. Working group participants came from 15 countries and included guides, business owners, and industry partners.

“I’m pleased ATTA could lead this process,” said Christina Beckmann, ATTA’s AdventureEDU and Research Director, “This is a prime example of the type of foundational industry support the ATTA is positioned to provide. We look forward to seeing the standard take root and flourish.”

At this time, the Guide Standard shall not be regulated by the ATTA or any other organization. Governments, destination managers, and company owners are encouraged to refer to the Guide Standard when evaluating the quality and performance of their own guides and when selecting appropriate training programs. Additionally, individuals and companies are encouraged to review the standard and officially sign the document, signaling their support and intention to adhere to the best practice components of adventure travel guiding.

The Guide Standard will be overseen going forward by a Governance Board, a volunteer group made up of guides and industry professionals. The Governance Board will observe the standard’s implementation around the world and maintain the standard, providing revisions and updates as necessary.

“With the publication of the Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard, the adventure travel world now has a complete standard for businesses to align with and for guides to train towards,” said Myles Farnbank, Head of Guides & Training at Wilderness Scotland (also a Governance Board Member), “However, this is the just the beginning and the Governance Board is very keen to engage and hear ongoing feedback, along with the ways in which destinations, businesses and guides are engaging with the standard.”

The Adventure Travel Trade Association is helping to raise the bar for professional adventure travel guides. In addition to helping organize the development of the Guide Standard, the ATTA is proud to make Guide Training available through its AdventureEDU program. This program has been developed by the professional guides, trainers, and adventure travel operators at the forefront of shaping guide standards.

The Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard can be found here:

Questions or comments should be directed to [email protected].
About Adventure Travel Trade Association

Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) serves over 1,100 members in 90 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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