ATTA and Cleveland Clinic release COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines for the adventure tourism industry

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Photo: ATTA / Charley VoohisPhoto: ATTA / Charley Voohis
Adventure Travel Trade Association - The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has released their COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines for three adventure activities – trekking, biking, and rafting – as well as one overarching guideline for the industry, all created in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic. 
Additionally, seven adventure activities will be decided and guidelines created by the end of July.  There is no cost for anyone in the tourism industry to access and use these guidelines, thanks to ATTA and its contributors.
These guidelines provide a path to an organized and safe reopening for the adventure 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.
“We have been listening to our community through think tanks and surveys and consistently one of the most resounding needs was a global consensus on health and safety guidelines for adventure activities,” said Shannon Stowell, ATTA’s CEO. “With the support of leading businesses and organizations in our community we were able to make it happen.”
A team of technical experts created the guidelines using international industry standards and public resources from the CDC, WHO, and governments. Cleveland Clinic, a world-renowned healthcare provider ranked as a top U.S. hospital in U.S. News & World Report’s “2019-20 Best Hospitals,” informed and advised the team throughout the process. 
Contributing industry leaders include Switzerland Tourism, JTB Research & Consulting, G Adventures, REI Adventure Travel, and Backroads. Together they worked closely with ATTA’s experts providing feedback and recommendations. The adventure tourism industry was also given an opportunity to provide review through an online feedback process. 
“These guidelines are a solid and consistent result of a global review from the industry and the dedicated and close collaboration of some of the best destinations and companies in the world. We are offering a set of meaningful and practical tools to enable Adventure Travel Companies and destinations to come back well prepared,” said Gustavo Timo, Destination Development Director of ATTA.
Technical goals for the Guidelines:
  • Guidance, reliable expertise, and recommendations for adventure travel to re-open and operate while managing the new risk and uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • A common set of actions, target areas, and risk factors in a framework that can be used by the global industry supply chain ensuring they work together by having a shared approach.
  • A framework that is structured around companies’ safety management systems, so changes in the company’s procedures can be revised and adapted as upcoming changes in pandemic risk levels and top-level recommendations are easier to implement.
The ATTA has made safety a priority through its AdventureEDU live education program for destinations, a country-wide AdventurePro program that reviews and supports the development of Adventure Travel Standards and Regulations at the country level, and now through the newly released online education course for Safety & Risk Management. This course will support professionals who need guidance and expertise on implementing safety management systems and practices such as the new COVID-19 Guidelines. 
A webinar with ATTA and Cleveland Clinic will be offered on 30 June to go over the Guidelines and to answer questions from the industry. Register here
Download the guidelines and practical assessment form to allow you to understand how to best address your business needs.