How should the Active Tourism denomination be used in context?
An hotel can offer among its services Active Tourism attractions and activities, but the hotel itself should not be called Active Tourism. There cannot be an Active Tourism Hotel. A touristic destination can become famous by the rich offer of Active Tourism activities, but the destination itself, or the location itself cannot be called Active Tourism. There cannot be pure Active Tourism Destinations or Locations. An activity per se cannot be called Active Tourism, but it is the way of carrying out this activity that is decisive. River rafting or mountain hicking are only Active Tourism if they are done following the philosophy of Active Tourism.
Following denominations are allowed by the certification:
Active Tourism agency
Active Tourism operator
Active Tourism travel
Active Tourism tour
Active Tourism guide
Active Tourism event
Active Tourism philosophy
Active Tourism can be used with other words like expedition, course, lessons, cooking, promoter, expert, activity, expedition, entretainment, show, help, development, service...
The Active Tourism Certification can only be issued for travel operators and tour agencies if all of the following requisites are met:
- Over 50% of the personel involved in the Active Tourism activity has to have an academic degree in Biology, Ecology, History, Sociology, Arquitecture, Antropology or Literature.
- Over 80% of the contracted personel has to be of national or local origin.
- The tour agency has to be co-owned (least 50%) by a local partner.
- The tour agency cannot exceed a staff size of 50 full time equivalents. Small, innovative and local agencies are encouradged.
- At least 10% of the profits have to be donated to selected social, medical, cultural, research and ecological institutions. The donation recieps have to be presented for certification.
- At some point of the tour, the tourist has to be informed and encouraged in ways and possibilities of helping. He has to be asked for an active contribution to help local social, medical, cultural, reasearch and ecological institutions.
- The travel operator has to demostrate that the visited region is not deteriorated by Active Tourism visitation. There must be a commitment that the place is left in equal or better shape as before the visitation. The lack of negative evidence is not sufficient. The travel operator is required to present positive evidence.
- At the end of the tour an evaluation questionnaire has to be filled out to document customer satisfaction. These questionaires have to be presented for the certification procedure. The customer survey asks if the tourist feeled like to be involved in Active Tourism. At least 75% of the answers have to be positive in this respect.
- Group size cannot exceed 20 persons. Groups larger than 20 tourists have to be handled by separate tour guides.
- The activity has to include and require active physical and mental participation from the tourist. A learning component has to be present. Transmitted information has to meet academic standards for authenticity, validity, and accuracy. References to the sources of information have to be presented. A written report has to be prepared for certification.
- All fees for visiting national parks, biological reservates, arqueological sites, buildings and museums have to be paid in full. The travel operator can include or exclude this fees in the tour price. Ecological fees and fees related to conservation should be transparent and visible for all tourists.
- Public transportation has to be used when possible. Private transportation should only be used if the effective transportation time is less than 40% of the time required by public transportation.
- No restrictions for nationality, race, gender and religion can be applied for participation in a tour. Medical restrictions can be applied to physically demanding tours. The filling of a risk aknowledgement formulare is recomended.
- A discount (at least 30%) has to be offered to local and national tourists (with valid official ID card). International tourists must pay the full price.
- A special price discount (at least 30%) has to be offered to students (with valid international student card) and disabled people (valid card).
-At least 50% of the tour fees have to be paid locally by the tourist. It is not allowed to pay all in advance from the country of origin.
- The travel operator has paid the yearly fee for certification.