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Looking to the Future: Adventure Community Revises Guide Standard

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The rapid growth in adventure travel in recent decades has led to an increase in demand for professional adventure travel guides and, in turn, the need for accessible, clear and universal adventure travel guide qualifications and performance standards.

Adventure travel guides are central to the delivery of professional, responsible and memorable adventure travel experiences. They manage safety and risk and ensure the overall quality of the participant’s experience while safeguarding the adventure travel company’s and the destination’s reputation. Moreover, adventure travel guides have a critical role to play in delivering and educating about sustainability with focus on climate emergency, biodiversity preservation, social impacts of global tourism and sanitary issues.  

In an effort to bring together one integrated Adventure Travel Guide Standard (ATGS), in 2015 the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) convened a working group of adventure travel professionals from 16 countries, including guides, business owners, and tour operators. 

According to working group guidelines, ATGS is to be revised every 5 years, first by the working group and then through a public comment period. The new version has been revised between August 2019 and June 2020 and will be released to the public in September 2020.

Stephen Taranto, editorial manager of the new version, adventure guide, and co-owner of operator La Paz on Foot, explains that this time around, the revision “has been an exciting process of collective intelligence and commitment focused on making the new standard better reflect the realities of adventure guides, adventure operators, and responsible travel around the world. When you think about it, adventure travel guides have to have an incredibly diverse skill set, and the standard is an excellent guide to doing it all professionally, safely, and with maximum positive impacts. We are hoping for strong feedback from the adventure travel community so that the final version will reflect such realities even more.”

The consultation process will take place from 17 July to 17 August. We will welcome comments and suggestions from the community; access the Adventure Travel Guide Standard here and send your comments via the Review Template.

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