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Guarding the Past: Creating a manual of good practice

July 24, 2009

By Ben Keen

Several years ago Chris Doyle, Vice President of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, contacted the Archaeological Institute of America, North America’s oldest and largest archaeological organization, with the intention of creating some basic guidelines. The impetus for this collaboration was his personal experience with guides who behaved irresponsibly while taking clients on tours. Working closely with Ben Thomas, a Mesoamerican archaeologist and the AIA’s Director of Programs, the two have since developed a manual of good practices for tour operators and the tourists who visit archaeological sites. I caught up with them to learn more about the serious threats to our collective cultural heritage and their project to protect what’s left.

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