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The History of IATM

In 1962, 12 European Tour Managers met together in London to found the International Association of Tour Managers. Their purpose: to exchange information, views, experiences and difficulties encountered. At this stage, the Association was little more than a social club.

Today, IATM has become to be recognized as a forum for professional Tour Managers, promoting their services and representing their views at national, European Union (EU) and international levels. Now truly an "International Association", IATM's members are to be found in EU member states, Switzerland, Norway, North America, Australasia, Israel and the Republic of China.

Events contributing to this development include the adoption of a Constitution under the British Company Acts 1947-68, and incorporation as a Company Limited by Guarantee in 1976.

To cope with the worldwide growth of the organization, the increased political interest and the greater need for accountability and professionalism in tourism, amendments to the Constitution were introduced in 1983. The result: IATM was divided into geographical regions, with each Regional Chairman being appointed to the Board of Directors.

At the 1984 International AGM in Brussels, it was decided to create a European Community Liaison Committee (ECLC) to actively represent the views of Tour Managers within the then European Community (EC). Since then, recognition of IATM has been demonstrated through invitations to sit on various EC committees, including that of the European Year of Tourism in 1990.

Specifically, IATM has been working toward recognition of the profession of Tour Manager. Setting up of a plan for the Initial and Continuing Higher Education of categories involved in the "Accompanying and Hosting" sector of the Industry. Efforts bore fruit in 1992, when the EU approved a syllabus for the training of professional Tour Managers. This course is already in operation in Breda, the Netherlands, and will provide the basis for courses in other countries.

Recognizing the value of advance information of proposed EU legislation, and thus being able to influence its outcome, in 1994 IATM became a full member of ETAG (European Tourism Action Group).

Furthering the international standing of the Tour Management Profession, in 1999 IATM publishes its Core Competency Standards. In November 1999, in conjunction with the Netherlands Institute of Tourism and Travel (NHTV), IATM hosts the first Certified Tour Manager Exam (CTM). Seen as a triumph in professional recognition, the successful examiners receive a diploma from NHTV, a certificate of Tour Management from IATM and the right to use the letters "CTM" after their names. The accreditation process is continuing with plans for geographical certification.

The relationship of IATM as an intermediary between Tour Companies and Tour Managers is enhanced in January 2003 with "Connectour"® coming online. Connectour is the official secure database linking job opportunities between tour companies and Tour Managers. Connectour is provided as a benefit of membership to all American Tour Managers and is searchable by any legal Tour Company.

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