International Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standard ATGS

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Adventure travel guides are central to the delivery of professional, responsible and memorable adventure travel experiences.  The rapid growth in adventure travel in recent decades has led to an increase in demand for professional adventure travel guides and highlighted the need for an accessible, clear and universal adventure travel guide standard.

Adventure guides manage safety and risks and ensure the overall quality of participant’s experience while safeguarding both adventure travel company and destination reputations.  Moreover, adventure travel guides have a critical role to play in delivering and educating about sustainability with focus on the climate emergency, biodiversity preservation, social impacts of global tourism and biosecurity issues.

Governments, destination managers, and company owners are encouraged to refer to the ATGS when evaluating the quality and performance of their own guides and determining appropriate training programs. Both new and experienced guides may refer to the ATGS as a benchmark for evaluating their own performance.

The ATGS is offered to the industry as a voluntary guideline. It is not enforced or regulated by the ATTA or any other organization.

Show your commitment to using the Adventure Travel Guide Standard

Companies, guides, and destination managers are encouraged to review the ATGS and officially sign up to the document, signalling their support and intention to adhere to the best practice components of adventure travel guiding. To sign your name and company to the ATGS, please fill out the form below.

Sign the Guide Standard

See the List of Signatories

How to Get Involved

Nominations for Guide Standard Governance Board

The ATGS Governance Board is a volunteer group made up of guides and industry professionals whose purpose is to ensure and oversee the ongoing maintenance of the ATGS. The responsibilities of the governance board include:

  • Conducting outreach throughout the world informing businesses and governments about the standard
  • Assisting in efforts to implement the standard
  • Accepting, documenting and incorporating relevant feedback and suggestions

If you are interested in joining the board, submit a nomination form below. Self-nominations are acceptable.



History & Background

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. The 1st Edition was published in February 2016.

In accordance with the ATGS Governance Board, the ATGS is revised every 5 years, first by a working group of Governance Board members and then through a public consultation process. The 2nd edition was revised between August 2019 and October 2020 and released to the public in February 2021.

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