sts code of ethics

All iambassador bloggers adhere to the STS Code of Ethics.

STS Code of Ethics for travel content creators

This page outlines the ethical code and standards of practice for professional travel content creators, including:

  • accurately representing online influence and other statistics
  • establishing clear objectives with partners and clients
  • protecting the editorial integrity of their content
  • publishing or delivering all negotiated content in a professional and timely manner.

General principles

As a professional travel content creator: 

  • I expect to be paid for my work not my opinion.
  • I undertake to publish/deliver all content that I have agreed in a professional and timely manner.
  • I will not falsely represent my online influence/statistics, or inflate my statistics by buying false readers, followers, fans etc.
  • I will not falsely claim an expertise or skill that I do not have.
  • My first loyalty is to my readers for whom my credibility and individuality is crucial.
  • My standards apply not only to my own blog but also to my ‘brand’, across all social media platforms.

Commitments

  1. Setting a positive example: I will strive for continual improvement in the way I travel by adopting sustainable practices wherever possible. I will continue to improve my understanding of travel’s impact on society, the environment and the economy and will help my audiences to understand this too
  2. Professional standards: I will respect professional standards of business conduct when dealing with clients, clarifying expectations on both sides before work commences and communicating in a clear and timely way
  3.  Care for the people and places that I visit: I will show due care and respect for the people and places I that visit [especially sites with special historic, cultural, religious or environmental significance], and will help educate my audiences on how to visit responsibly too
  4.  Accuracy in representation and reporting: I will present myself/my channels and report on my work in a transparent and accurate way. I will not falsely represent my online influence/statistics, or inflate my statistics by buying false readers, followers, etc.
  5. Transparency around commercial relationships: I will always clearly label any advertising, advertorials, sponsorships, competitions, product tests or 3rd party reviews, published by me and declare any commercial relationships or associations
  6. Honest content: I will give an honest and accurate representation of the places that I visit through my content. I will make it clear when an image or video has been significantly altered for artistic effect
  7. Fairness and subjectivity: I reserve the right to write my honest opinion. If discrepancies, complications or negative experiences occur in the course of a sponsored trip, I undertake to consult first with the host to clarify and, if possible, resolve the situation. I reserve the right to [or not to] write about the venue/trip/experience and inform the host of the reasons why
  8. Conduct online: I will respect the copyright and moral rights of others in my work. In my professional capacity, I will endeavour to behave with courtesy and respect to other internet users.

Acknowledgements: The STS Code of Ethics 2020 draws on the previous STS Code of Ethics for Professional Travel Bloggers 2014, as well as input from the Reiseblogger Kollektiv Kodex, Social Travel Summit Think Tank Ravenna 2019 and the Social Travel Forum Graz 2019. These roundtable discussion groups consisted of representatives of the tourism industry, content creators and travel influencers. The discussions were led and summarised by Peter Jordan, tourism trends analyst and consultant.