AGA Certification Program Information
Why get certified?
Since 2009, Adventure Green Alaska (AGA) has been the state’s only sustainable tourism certification program. AGA is the result of a statewide effort to grow sustainable tourism in Alaska, and promote model businesses practicing economic, environmental and social sustainability. The AGA standards, criteria and the application process are important means to ensuring that the AGA program and its members are able to represent and take the lead in developing the sustainable tourism industry in Alaska.
For tourism businesses practicing careful stewardship and working to sustain Alaska’s natural and cultural resources, AGA certification is recognition of your business’ leadership and action. AGA also encourages all tourism businesses to evaluate their operations and determine whether they use – or could be using – best sustainable management practices.
Businesses seeking AGA certification must meet the program’s minimum standards of quality, safety and sustainability.
The Business Must:
- Comply with U.S. environmental, consumer protection and labor laws while operating within the State of Alaska or its territorial waters.
- Have a two-year operating history in Alaska.
- Be a member of a tourism or community trade association (ATIA, the local convention & visitors bureau, Sustainable Travel International, etc.).
- Hold valid commercial use permits with agencies managing public lands in their areas of operation, if applicable.
- Collaborate with private and public land managers to ensure that operations do not harm sites of cultural or historical significance.
How the application process works
Any and all interested businesses must complete the application process to be considered for AGA certification.
AGA APPLICATION PROCESS:
- Ensure that your business meets the minimum legal standards for quality, safety and sustainability.
- Complete and submit application, along with application fee, prior to bi-annual deadline.
- Provide two references outside of your company along with your application.
The AGA program is administered by the Alaska Travel Industry Association (ATIA). ATIA staff review and score the applications after each deadline and then submit them to the AGA Advisory Committee, which is made up of ATIA Board members and ATIA member businesses. The committee will further review and discuss applications in order to ensure each submission receives due merit and consideration. After the committee makes their recommendations, ATIA staff make the final approval on certified businesses.
If a business is not approved for certification, ATIA will provide feedback and recommendations on ways to improve the application for resubmission. The initial application fee is valid for two years and there is no limit on the number of times businesses can reapply to achieve certification. ATIA staff is available to assist interested businesses with questions or help on the AGA application process.
APPLICATION DEADLINES: May 31 and November 30
Monitoring, Compliance, and Renewal
AGA will monitor program compliance through random spot checks and customer comments. A condition of certification is your agreement to allow site visits at the discretion of ATIA. Additionally, AGA will solicit customer comments throughout the certification period. Although the certification will be awarded for two years, AGA asks that businesses provide notice of any significant changes or deviations from the initial application. If deficiencies are reported, AGA will offer follow-up assistance to correct them. Consistent failure to make any changes will result in the removal of the business from the program. All AGA promotional materials must be returned and the business will refrain from using any AGA information and materials.
ATIA is committed to making continual improvements to the AGA program and will periodically review and revise the sustainability standards as needed. AGA certifications are valid for two years. A business seeking renewal will need to submit a new application and application fee to ATIA, and will be evaluated against the most current sustainability standards.