The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has released its next seven Adventure Travel COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for the adventure travel industry. These activities complement and round out the first three guidelines released for trekking, cycling, and rafting. ATTA’s contributors—Switzerland Tourism, JTB Research & Consulting, G Adventures, REI Adventure Travel, and Backroads—were key influencers in deciding the final list of activities. In the end, the final set included tackling activities that were most important to the structure and operations of key offerings in the adventure sector.
The next seven guidelines follow the same framework as the first three activities and specifically cover:
- Camping including Food Prep in the field
- Culinary Experiences
- Cultural Tours/Sightseeing
- Small Lodges
- Small Vessels Cruising
- Skiing & Snowboarding
- Wildlife Experiences
These guidelines, created in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, a world-renowned healthcare provider, provide a path to an organized and safe reopening for the adventure travel industry by providing a common set of actions that can be used by a diverse pool of travel businesses and suppliers across the industry supply chain. The contributors to the guidelines worked closely with ATTA’s experts providing feedback and recommendations with a goal to be specific enough to be useful to the opening of the industry but also generic enough that they can be utilized by a global audience in different stages of the pandemic and governed by different laws. As with the overarching guidelines and first three activities, the adventure tourism industry was given an opportunity to provide review through an online feedback process.
The COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines enable businesses to present a consistent level of preparedness for the returning traveler. Due to requests from the community to create a visual indication of their businesses’ efforts to operate safely, the ATTA has created a “We Follow the ATTA COVID-10 Health & Safety Guidelines” badge. This badge will allow businesses who actively follow the guidelines to display a digital or physical badge indicating they are following the industry recommendations. ATTA will provide a consumer-facing web page that is an explanation of the guidelines, should businesses need this as a resource. ATTA has created a badge for your website and physical location to show your clients and partners that you are actively following these Guidelines for Healthy and Safe practices. Once you download the Guidelines and implement, you may request a badge. Please note: ATTA does not verify operator compliance. We are entrusting companies to implement the guidelines correctly before using the badge.
As businesses seek to review their operations and identify risks and areas that need to be addressed, the ATTA has the following resources available to support needs:
- Overarching Guideline for the adventure travel industry and ten options for adventure activities / activities that are important to a soft adventure experience.
- When you receive the Guidelines for download (via email), access the Risk Assessment Form as a way to discover areas of your business that may need to be reviewed and addressed.
- Operations and Business managers may benefit from ATTA’s online Safety & Risk Management course as a way to further develop your business’s risk assessment, safety operation procedures, and team engagement.
- A recording of the webinar with ATTA and Cleveland Clinic offered on 30 June. This webinar went over the Guidelines and answered questions from the industry.
- Review our latest report – Adventure Travel Business Impact Monitor Survey – COVID-19. This report offers valuable insights into how adventure travel businesses are being affected by the pandemic over time, what businesses are doing to mitigate these impacts, and how they plan to cope in the near future.
ATTA’s survey of 277 adventure tour operators businesses in May revealed that “Improving/adjusting the safety elements of our trip offerings” is a top near and long-term priority for businesses concerning COVID-19. The guidelines’ goal is to create a framework with reliable expertise and recommendations for adventure travel to re-open and operate while managing the new risk and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“ATTA’s Health and Safety Guidelines have been well received by Chile. They are a relevant tool for the reactivation of adventure tourism, and we look forward to implementing them together with the industry.” Nicolás Caram, Adventure Tourism Development Leader – UnderSecretary of Tourism of Chile
As businesses know reopening is a challenge. From considering how to social distance during a cooking class to rafting down a river in a 6 person raft—different situations provide different risks and every traveler has their own opinions, their own risks, and their own accountability. It is a new day and each day it is changing. These guides are meant to be rigid yet flexible and for each business to take them and follow them according to their city, state, region, country’s regulations and expectations.