Code of Conduct

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Each new member of the Society will affirm, as part of the application process, to uphold the Code of Conduct as dated below. You are responsible and expected to uphold this pledge confirmed by your annual renewal each year for the entirety of your active SATW membership. Any changes the Code of Conduct will be sent to all members. If you have any concerns with changes, please email [email protected] otherwise your pledge remains the same.



As a member of SATW, I pledge to adhere to the Code of Conduct in its entirety. This includes, but is not limited to, my participation in SATW meeting functions, programs, events and meals, and any SATW online forum or social media account. I understand that failure to conduct myself in a professional manner can be considered a violation of the Code and is subject to review, with possible penalties, as outlined in the Code.


1. Inclusiveness

SATW recognizes, welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. This includes, but is not limited to, members who identify as or with any race, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, social or economic class, education level, age, size, family status, political belief, religion, culture, and mental or physical disability.


Additionally, every SATW member is valued regardless of work medium, publication type or professional connection to a destination. We are all travel industry professionals and we embrace the many different forms of content creation, expression and utilization.


Every SATW member will be mindful, respectful and considerate of all SATW members, especially during in-person and remote communication with others whose professional and life experiences are different. SATW finds strength in the diversity of its members.


2. Communication and Face-to-Face Conduct

SATW members agree to apply civility and common sense to any situation in which they are communicating on behalf of SATW or as an SATW member. This applies to all forms of communications and interactions, including live interpersonal meetings, telephone and video calls, written exchanges  and comments posted on any SATW-sanctioned online social media community such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.


SATW’s communication and conduct standards prevent the use of personal attacks, libelous commentary, abusive language, physical or sexual harassment and threats, exclusionary behavior and profanity. SATW will not tolerate any social environment in which members are made to feel unwelcome due to another member’s contravention of the guidelines and standards addressed in this Code of Conduct. lnvoking the SATW name to claim special privileges and/or demand preferential treatment is also forbidden.


SATW Community Guidelines

Actions and comments should be in accordance with SATW values — unbiased, anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-exclusionary — and never include:

      • Name-calling or personal attacks
      • Racist, sexist or any other type of pejorative terms or tropes
      • Attacks on members’ professional credentials
      • Libelous commentary
      • Physical or sexual harassment or threats
      • Profanity and vulgarity (explicit or implied)
      • Disdainful, disparaging or derogatory language
      • Off-topic comments
      • Unpaid advertising
      • Comments inciting violence or illegal activities
      • Comments that impose political views/beliefs on others


3. Program Participation

Members, their spouses or spouse-equivalents as well as invited guests, sponsors and speakers—hereafter collectively called “delegates”—attending SATW meetings and associated programs, tours, trips and events are expected to participate in all activities for which they registered. If a delegate must cancel, he/she/they shall be expected to notify the host as soon as possible. Guests, like all members, are expected to follow this Code of Conduct.


Any delegate missing two or more scheduled activities for which he/she/they is registered without giving prior notification to the host may be liable for Code of Conduct violations. No refunds will be considered for any “no-show.”


Any delegate having a concern that would require changes to the schedule of events should direct this matter, as early as possible, to SATW officials and not to the hosts. This would include any changes desired in order to gather information or images for stories.


Delegates, including Annual Convention sponsors, are prohibited from offering hospitality and/or scheduling any additional activities during periods when official convention program events/activities are planned.


4. Itinerary or Program Changes

It is the responsibility of all delegates to be on time for scheduled tours, trips, events and programs, and to be ready to accept unforeseen changes in itineraries or programs. Delegates who have comments or special needs should address them to the SATW Convention Chair or to the member assigned to lead or chair the affected tour, trip, event or program.


5. Respecting Local Customs

When traveling, whether under their own banner or as delegates, SATW members shall not ignore, denigrate or violate local regulations and customs. SATW members shall also take into account the guidance of local cultural representatives when making decisions about what to visit and on what terms, as well as the wishes of potential subjects when capturing their images or gathering material for stories.

SATW members shall employ journalistic values of fairness and respect in how they engage with and share depictions of local people, especially people indigenous to a place being visited or depicted. Every effort will be made to understand and identify local people in the manner of their choosing.


6. Alcoholic Beverages

At SATW events where alcohol is offered, hosts and/or SATW officials have the right to deny such beverages to any person. Delegates are expected to drink responsibly and to adhere to all applicable laws and/or restrictions related to the consumption of alcohol. Delegates shall not indulge in alcohol to the point that they become disruptive, disorderly, unreasonably loud or offensive, or unable to maintain motor skills. At some functions, delegates may be required to pay for alcoholic beverages.


7. Claims and/or Complaints

Any behavior or communication by any SATW member that violates these standards must be reported promptly to the Ethics & Conduct Committee. Copies of any objectionable pictures, videos, letters, notes, emails or social media posts must be submitted with the complaint. The committee will review and determine an appropriate sanction. Based on the severity of the transgression, the sanction may include dismissal from the Society.


In cases where transgressive language is shared on a public forum, SATW retains the right to remove it, but may elect to keep it for the purpose of discussion and education. When it remains in context, a note shall be appended to the language noting that it has been flagged as inappropriate according to the guidelines and standards of SATW’s Code of Conduct.


SATW is not responsible for changes made by hosts/suppliers, but it will attempt to work out the best solution if comments or complaints are brought to the attention of the SATW convention chair or SATW liaison in a timely and professional manner. Such matters that cannot be resolved at the time of or immediately following a complaint must be submitted in writing to SATW.


8. Penalties for Violations to the SATW Code of Conduct

Following a violation by a member, the Ethics & Conduct Committee will be notified and provided with the reports. The committee can decide an appropriate sanction, if any, including but not limited to a ban from SATW forums and social media channels, and with the most severe being dismissal from the Society.


If a delegate’s failure to follow these guidelines occurs at any SATW function and is reported to one of the following:

      • Meeting/Convention chair
      • Chapter or Council chair
      • Society President
      • At-large Board Members
      • Tour Captain


The official can question the delegate about this incident. If the Society official is satisfied that a violation of the guidelines has taken place, the official is empowered to prohibit the delegate from taking part in any further activity during that event. The official shall then file a reasonably detailed, written report with the Society’s executive director.


In extraordinary circumstances, such as suspected illegal activities, gross violations of the SATW Code of Ethics & Conduct or for reasonable cause, the host or SATW Liaison shall have the power to immediately terminate a delegate’s participation in the activity or event and the matter shall be referred to the Ethics & Conduct Committee. That delegate will be responsible for all expenses incurred for the event or trip as well as his/her/their transportation home.


If a suspected Code of Conduct violation is reported to the Executive Director after the function has concluded, the matter shall be reported to the Ethics Conduct Committee along with all supporting investigation, determination and possible penalties.


Non-member delegates to SATW meetings or other functions reported to have violated the Code of Conduct may be barred from attending future SATW meetings or functions, at the discretion of the Executive Committee. SATW reserves the right to deny convention registration to any non-member for any reason.


The Society’s legal counsel may be consulted on perceived violations.


Revised and approved October 2020.