Saturday, 3 November 2012

Advocacy, Research, Quality, Education & Training Collaboration Central to New World Tourism Organization-Adventure Travel Trade Association Partnership

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the specialized agency of the United Nations in the field of tourism, and the Adventure Travel Trade Association, a global organization dedicated to responsibly growing the adventure travel market, today announced a new partnership agreement concerning global sustainable tourism development.

The UNWTO and the ATTA recognize the importance of cooperating to advance the contribution of adventure travel to global sustainable tourism development and are planning to collaborate in the areas of advocacy, research, quality and education and training to achieve their shared objectives.

“The reason why we need to work together, is that adventure tourism is what tourism should be today, and is definitely what tourism will be tomorrow,” said Mr. Taleb Rifai, UNWTO Secretary-General.

Both parties have agreed that this partnership serves to drive forward a cooperation between the UNWTO and ATTA with a mission to support common advocacy of the value of sustainable tourism development, increase and promote the knowledge and value of the adventure travel, and to contribute to the quality enhancement and sustainable development of adventure travel products amongst UNWTO Member States.

“The adventure travel segment may not be the biggest piece of travel today, but it’s one in which the people who operate it are on the front lines and they know that if they do not protect their local wildlife, environments and their cultures and make sure that local people are involved and benefitting from tourism, then their business is gone,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “In my mind, that’s when destinations lose their unique gems. Therefore, our partnership with the World Tourism Organization, which represents governments worldwide, will strengthen our collective ability to work on actual public-private development and delivery of authentic tourism experiences.”

Based in Madrid, Spain, the World Tourism Organization membership encompasses 161 countries and territories and more than 400 Affiliate Members representing the private sector, educational institutions, tourism associations ‎and local tourism authorities.

Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA ( is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market. Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit executive trade conferences ( and publisher of, the leading digital trade journal serving the adventure tourism industry, the ATTA also makes possible www.Adventure.Travel, the traveler’s hub of physical, cultural and nature-based adventure travel and guide to trusted tour operators from around the globe.

Video Link: UNWTO Secretary-General and the ATTA President discuss principles and ethics in tourism

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