RTA Ambassadors are those from both the domestic and international markets seeking to enjoy the unique & rewarding travel experiences available in the destinations they visit.
They want to distance themselves from mainstream tourism so that they may enjoy the people, customs, culture, and lifestyles of those who live and work in the places they visit. They want to travel responsibly, to treat others with respect, to be welcomed as guests, to learn from, and to leave a good impression on those they meet.
They are very aware of the difficulty the SMMEs (small, medium & micro-enterprise) operators face in terms of market access and are happy to help promote those who provide good service, to make an effort to follow best practices, and will afford them a fair deal.
Their support for the RTA business model will showcase local culture and lifestyles to their benefit, that of their guests, and for future generations. In other countries, it will help level the playing field in the same or other ways. In places like Thailand, it will help reduce if not reverse the hollowing out of rural communities which see working-aged adults move to the city for work. It will strengthen their communities, enabling them to practice their traditional customs.
The RTA business model ensures you access to a much wider range of products and services from RTA Business Partners that may lack the language skills or resources to respond promptly to direct enquiries and would benefit from the support that the RTA Local Agent provides.
|Support for Volunteers Without Borders
The Volunteers Without Borders Foundation is funded mainly by RTA Members donations, made when paying annual membership fees.
|RTA Ambassador's Cost Table
|Distribution of Funds
50% is allocated to hosting fees for the website and RTA members online presentations.
The RTA encourages its Business Partners to publish their advertised rates on their 'online profiles', and to make 'confidential' offers on a case by case basis, to our Ambassadors via the RTA Local Agent in response to their enquiries to secure their bookings. When establishing your rates' please note that the Ambassador pays a 'small booking fee' to the Local Agent when booking your product.
As the RTA business model is non-commission based, RTA Local Agents will secure quotes for Ambassadors from Business Partners using a time/cost-based calculation to determine their 'booking fees'. Their services include:
|RTA Ambassadors Benefits Table
|The RTA Vertical Search System
It allows you to fine-tune your search for products or services by region, country, destination, category, price band, and by the physical access limitations. This creates a shortlist of results prioritised by your interests and displayed by membership level. You further refine your selection by:
|The Online Presentation
Your online presence across the platform - showcased through an interactive presentation (a multi-page website) that is 'user name' protected and allows you to hide or show information as you choose.
|Customised Support from RTA Local Agents
The RTA business model ensures you access to a much wider range of products and services from RTA Business Partners many of whom may lack the language skills or resources to respond promptly to direct enquiries and would benefit from assistance in that area.
The vertical search system and use of online presentations include detail of your personalised service preferences allow you, the RTA Local Agent, and the RTA Business Partners to customise services for specific groups within the RTA Ambassador community:
Families – The RTA Local Agent can provide childcare or frail care support for those traveling with children or elderly relatives.
Seniors – The RTA Local Agent is well placed to cater to this group - aged 55 and over:
Are designated routes, excursions that radiate out from or between tourism destinations linking many attractions, activities, and more. You put together your customised draft itineraries from the tourist route menu and map provided. You then submit them for comment, fine-tuning, and a quotation via the RTA Local Agent.
|Access to RTA Local Experts
The content and quality of the programmes RTA Ambassadors put together can be greatly enhanced by engaging the services of RTA Local Experts - selected for their in-depth local knowledge of the topics/subjects the programme is designed to cover.
The RTA Competitions are designed to engage and reward the RTA Membership for contributing to the promotion of the RTA and its membership. 50% of the member's monthly fees paid to the RTA for marketing & development, and of that 50% is earmarked for RTA Competitions.
Note* The number of competitions you may enter content for each year is dictated by your membership level. Bronze = 0, Silver – 1, Gold = 2. Platinum = 3.
|The Barter Trade
Is an optional (value added) feature for RTA Business Partners may sign up for or not.
|Forums & Resources
On registering you must decide on your preferred membership level - bronze, silver, gold, platinum - determined by the costs vs benefits for each as explained - under costs above. Your registration will be confirmed by email once approved. You payment of membership fees will only commence when you make your first booking. However, we would really appreciate it if you made a one-off donation to VWB to help us fund volunteer and training costs.
The unique ID and password you are sent allows you to access a user friendly 'online editor' to manage the content and imagery on your profile yourself. The same password provides authentication for access to forums, guest comments, competitions, etc. Assistance is available if needed, from VWB Volunteers who can be organized by the RTA Local Agent.
|Search & Research
Explains how to use this system to gain the greatest benefit from it:
Step 1. Search Type - Select the Search Type Option.
Step 2. Location - Select the specific region, followed by the country and destination (province or city.)
Step 3. Category - Select the category of product or service you are interested in, and the sub-category where relevant.
Step 4. Price Range - Select the price/market - (all, budget, tourist, first class.)
Step 5. Accessibility - Select the accessibility criteria - (disability/fitness.)
Step 6. Keyword Search - Refine or expand your search Use keyword search if needed.
Step 7. Shortlist - Click search to review the refined search results pages (numbers on your shortlist and indicated by the search counter at the bottom of the search fields.)
Step 8. Fine Tune - Use the service standard score, or best practice compliance score settings to further refine your search of results listed in order of membership level (bronze, silver, gold, platinum.)
|Enquiries & Bookings
Explains how the system works on a step by step basis.
Step 1. Submit Enquiry - Use the CGI form on the communications & booking log on your profile page to submit either an enquiry, or your proposed itinerary & timeline to the designated RTA Local Agent in the destination you are visiting.
Note* we suggest that you include a couple of options for things like accommodation so that you may compare offers made.
Step 2. Local Agent Review - The Local Agent reviews your itinerary and provides you with a provisional estimate of his or her fees (based on the estimated number of hours/costs involved in putting it together.) He or she agrees to come back to you for approval and with an explanation if that fee estimate changes during the enquiry/booking process.
Step 3. Approval - Once you confirm he or she should proceed the Local Agent contacts the various Business Partners involved in your booking, checking availability, pricing, incentives, ability to meet your stated likes, dislikes, preferences.
Step 4. Personalised Service - The Local Agent reviews your Hobbies & Interests and Personalised Service databases, (on your profile) to see what matches he can find for them in the destination you are visiting.
Step 5. Quotation - The Local Agent then sends an itemised proposal (using the same CGI form). You exchange responses using this same form until you both confirm the services and charges, and barter trade products and services to be paid for in Barter Dollars. At this point payment options are agreed and the formal quotation is issued. This will include the requirements for payment of a deposit and the balance.
Step 6. Booking - You confirm your itinerary and make your booking using the same system.
Step 7. Making Payment - You make your deposit or full payment to the RTA Local Agent via the method agreed (credit card, bank transfer, PayPal). You transfer Barter Dollars from your barter account (on your profile page) to the account of the Local Agent.
Step 8. Confirmation - Once payments have been made, you are then sent a detailed itinerary, emergency contact detail, and vouchers as required.
Note: All exchanges are conducted using the CGI form in an embedded email system on your profile page. You receive notification of their arrival by email. Emails are time-stamped as part of our service standard monitoring programme.
|Post Visit Follow Up
Travel Articles, Video, Photography - You have taken on or offsite whilst visiting them can be copied to (a) the individual RTA Business Partner, (b) the RTA Local Agent, (c) submitted to the appropriate RTA competition (from your gallery) - to promote the individual RTA Business Partner and the Tourist Route they are located along.
You may also win the competition you enter earning yourself valuable RTA Barter Dollars - to be used on your next booking.