Adventure Travel Is a Force for Good

by Sandra Foyt on November 1, 2012

in Service Projects

Today, ECPAT-USA and the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) announced that the ATTA became the first United States-based association to sign the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, an internationally accepted industry-driven corporate responsibility initiative to protect children from trafficking and sexual exploitation in travel and tourism.

ECPAT USA - End Child Prostitution and Trafficking

“We recognize there are dark sides to tourism,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “With such recognition comes great responsibility to take meaningful and immediate steps to eradicate harmful activity. This is our first measure to address this issue, and most certainly not our last.”

“ECPAT-USA is thrilled to bring the Adventure Travel Trade Association into the family of organizations and companies that have signed the Code of Conduct. Children are sexually exploited by the millions all over the world,”said Carol Smolenski, Executive Director of ECPAT-USA. “It is important that every sector of the travel industry become part of the solution by implementing the six steps of the Code. The ATTA will have a tremendous multiplier effect by informing its membership about how they can help fight the scourge of child exploitation.”

THE SIX CRITERIA (found on TheCode.org)

Suppliers of tourism services adopting the code commit themselves to implement the following six criteria:
1.
To establish an ethical policy regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children.
2.
To train the personnel in the country of origin and travel destinations.
3.
To introduce a clause in contracts with suppliers, stating a common repudiation of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
4.
To provide information to travellers by means of catalogues, brochures, in-flight films, ticket-slips, home pages, etc.
5.
To provide information to local “key persons” at the destinations.
6.
To report annually.

Future of Tourism

This was the first of what promises to be a bright new chapter in responsible, sustainable tourism. When leaders of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), WWF International and Google addressed more than 600 tourism industry professionals during the 2012 Adventure Travel World Summit in Lucerne, Switzerland from October 8-11, a common refrain emerged: “adventure travel” had arrived as a new face of responsible tourism.

“Adventure tourism is what tourism should be today and definitely what tourism will be tomorrow,” said Mr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) referring to inevitable shifts in the leisure tourism market toward more experience-based, responsible and lower-impact – environmentally and culturally – travel.

UNWTO Secretary-General: “Adventure tourism is what tourism should be…and what it will be tomorrow…traveling to remember.” How: Authentic Experiences

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zg511kesIb4&list=PLM8bF6fy45lCcG4yeNWCjR2ap-UWaXZ6o&index=2&feature=plpp_video[/youtube]

 

| Sandra Foyt is a storyteller, photographer, and road trip junkie. A veteran of six cross-country road trips, she drove Route 66, the Lincoln Highway, the fossil freeway, the extraterrestrial highway, and even “the loneliest road in America.” Find her on GetawayMavens.com, an award-winning destination guide to extraordinary travel in and from Northeast USA, on her portfolio site at SandraFoyt.com, and in freelance gigs on Family Travel 411, Minitime, Huffington Post, and Matador Network. Email: sandrafoyt@albanykid.com, Twitter @SandraFoyt.

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