We are sometimes surprised when people ask us why they should join AWRTA. There are actually a lot of good reasons. Unfortunately, we seem to be better at marketing AWRTA members than marketing AWRTA itself. Several of AWRTA’s recent accomplishments include the development of our new consumer-oriented website, http://www.visitwildalaska.com. Designed for Alaska-bound travelers looking for operators who incorporate sustainability into their business model, Visit Wild Alaska features small and medium-sized, independent businesses that give back to their local communities and represent the future of Alaska tourism. Check out Visit Wild Alaska. You’ll find that it provides unparalleled value in a user-friendly, innovative package.
“We’re very excited about AWRTA’s visitwildalaska.com website and the initial web stats have been very favorable. From my observations and from the research I’ve seen, prospects are voting with their dollars and they more and more select trip options from companies that are environmentally responsible. The new website with its ability to highlight the Adventure Green Alaska certification program is well positioned to satisfy the growing numbers of visitors who are looking for authentic Alaska adventures and also desire to feel good about the companies they choose.”
Alaska Wildland Adventures
AWRTA also spearheaded the creation of Adventure Green Alaska (AGA), the only green certification program for tourism businesses operating in Alaska and one of the few programs of its kind in the country. AGA, now an independent nonprofit corporation, recognizes and rewards businesses that meet standards of economic, social, and environmental sustainability. For more information about AGA, go to http://www.adventuregreenalaska.org.
“Our Silver level certification with Adventure Green Alaska has been effective on so many fronts. Not only is it an honor to be included as a member of Alaska’s first and only sustainable tourism certification program, it has also given us a vehicle to constantly improve our business practices and to learn from the true leaders in the field. Not only that, in follow-up surveys, 74% of our guests said that the AGA certification was a factor in their decision to choose Alaska Alpine Adventures. To say that AGA is helping raise the bar of Alaska’s tourism industry is an understatement.”
Alaska Alpine Adventures
Of course, AWRTA continues to be an active and effective voice for the tourism industry in the many conservation issues facing Alaska. AWRTA and its co-plaintiffs recently won a major lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service, challenging Bush-era policies in the Tongass National Forest that favored logging and road-building over tourism, commercial fishing, and subsistence. For the full story, go to http://www.visitwildalaska.com/whats_new/?p=52.
There are many benefits to being an AWRTA member. Here are some of the things we can do for your business:
• Provide a connection to the Alaska wilderness travel community
• Create a powerful on-line presence for your company, one that includes a description of your business and trips, hyper links, images, and specials
• Help you generate buzz and recruit new clients
• Link your Facebook fan page (don’t have one—you should!) to our growing fan base
• Help you demonstrate your support for sustainable tourism in Alaska to past and future clients
• Give you access to the quarterly Visit Wild Alaska eNews with tips and tricks on marketing, sustainability, social networking, client satisfaction, risk management, and more
Membership in AWRTA provides the tools, assistance, and camaraderie to make your business more successful, sustainable, and profitable.
To become a member, go to http://www.visitwildalaska.com/Benefits_Rates.