TITLE I: Name – purpose – headquarters – duration
Article 1: Name
The Leadership Committee (founding members) unanimously decided to adopt the title of the association to:
World Travel Media Guild
The universal acronym in every language shall be WTMG.
Article 2: Purpose
The principal and permanent objectives of WTMG are:
- To study and convey to our readers, listeners and viewers conditions necessary for the development of tourism and for the right to enjoy leisure activities in all countries and to give a future vision
- To contribute to the distribution of freely available, objective, complete, and original information of the highest quality on tourism matters while complying with the ethics of the journalistic profession
- To enable Journalists to carry out their functions through implementation of information journeys known as press trips or familiarization (FAM) trips
- To set up documentation and center to support activities of the Association
- To enhance the stature of journalists, tourism writers, broadcasters and photographers in the eyes of the public and of organizations involved with tourism
- To build contacts between travel media professionals
- To create a dialogue between media professionals and tourism organisations and industry and the general public
- To encourage the specialization of young journalists in tourism
- To organize meetings, conferences concerning international tourism
- To publish professional printed and online publications dedicated to tourism and tourism issues and journalistic efforts related to tourism
Article 3: Headquarters
The location of WTMG headquarters shall be determined by, and may be changed by, vote of The Committee.
Article 4: Duration
The duration of the Association shall be unlimited.
TITLE II: MEMBERSHIP
Article 5: The association shall comprise only individual members in any country of the world who pledge to adhere to the present Bylaws.
Article 6: There are three types of membership:
Active members are media professionals and include journalists, writers and travel editors of newspapers, magazines, radio, Internet sites, or television stations; photographers specializing in travel and tourism; and publishers of printed or qualified electronic media dedicated to or containing editorial content concerning travel and tourism issues. In all cases, publications must meet minimum standards set by The Committee (stands for Leadership Committee).
All Journalist members must have published a significant output of travel-related material prior to and during the term of their membership. The amount and type of material acceptable for membership will be determined by The Committee or a sub-committee designated by The Committee as being responsible for membership criteria. Active members must prove their productivity each year.
Reportage, writings, photography, editing, and publishing activities must be indicated by proof of productivity of original material in, but not limited to, a printed form of expression (newspapers, magazines, publications, books), an oral form of expression (radio, lectures), filmed expression (television, cinema, photography) or cyberspace media.
This category comprises all other tourism and travel professionals such as public relations professionals or those writing or distributing tourism information specifically for publicity purposes, persons at management level in the hotel and travel trade industry, local, regional, national and international tourism organisations, etc.
Affiliate members can be registered as an individual or as a company or organization. If the membership is under the name of an organization or company, that organization or company must name a single person as the representative. Additional representatives can be named for an organization or company but additional membership fees will be assessed for each named person.
Associated members have no voting rights and cannot run for office on the Committee. Their number shall not exceed the one of active members.
Membership in this category shall be restricted to persons who, by a majority vote of The Committee and the members and ratification by the Annual General Meeting, have made a significant contribution to the travel industry and specifically supported the role of travel journalists and writers and the goals and objectives of WTMG.
Honorary members will have no voting rights. They can participate in the meetings organized by the association, in the case they are invited by The Committee.
Article 7. Productivity Requirements
All members, with the exception of Honorary members, are required to make a declaration as requested by The Committee or every 12 months, that they qualify as members, and may be required to provide evidence of their continuing qualification to the Membership Committee. Upon recommendation of the Membership Committee, The Committee may immediately suspend the membership of any member not meeting productivity requirements. The Committee, with the approval of the membership committee, may expel members for non-compliance or re-allocate members into another category of membership subject always to conditions stated or implied for such categories.
Active members who attend an Annual General Meeting, or any other meeting or event which requires attendees to publish, must publish at least one article relating to the destination of the event. Members failing to meet this requirement will not be allowed to attend the next Annual General Meeting or other event, as determined by a review panel, and will be subject to possible expulsion from WTMG. If an active journalist member attends and fails to publish an article as required on two occasions, he/she will be subject to expulsion from WTMG.
Article 8: Conditions of Admission
All applicants for Membership shall complete, sign and submit the form of application to the Association’s office.
Membership applications must have the endorsement of the Association’s Committee Chair.
After the applicant’s Membership applications is approved by the Committee Chair, a letter will be sent by the Chairman to the applicant allowing him/her/business to join the Association and welcoming him/her/business as a new member.
The Committee shall authenticate the professional qualifications of their members by implementing appropriate procedures.
Article 9: Fees
The annual fees for each membership category are determined each year by the General Assembly. Annual membership fees must be paid before 31st of March of each year. Honorary Members are admitted free of charge.
Any member who has not paid the required dues by the 31 of March will not be allowed admittance to the Annual General Meeting/Congress of that year and is not allowed to vote on any issues before the General Assembly.
Membership will end automatically, if a member fails to pay the required dues for two consecutive years and in spite of written recalls.
Article 10: Termination of membership
Membership is lost by:
Resignation: A member may resign his/her membership by advising The Committee via the office of the Secretary in writing. In all cases, resignation will take effect immediately following the notice.
- Exclusion: The Committee shall decide on the exclusion of members. This shall be possible only for good reasons – behavior which damages the interests and reputation of the association or acting contrary to the Bylaws and internal rules.
- Suspension: The Committee can suspend membership for not fulfilling the productivity and membership conditions and requirements stated in the Bylaws or if the member is more than two years in arrears of dues. The suspension will become a permanent expulsion if agreed to by majority vote of The Committee and ratified by the General Assembly.
- Exclusion and suspensions shall be decided upon by two thirds majority.
- The member concerned can appeal against exclusion to the arbitration committee. The conclusive decision is taken by the Committee with two thirds majority.
- Members who resign or were expelled and later reinstated are obliged to meet their obligation with respect to WTMG and in particular to settle their dues arrears.
Title III: LEADERSHIP COMMITTEE
Article 11: The Leadership Committee (the Committee)
Article 11.1 Composition and election of the Committee
The association is administrated by the Committee for the first four years after creation the Committee is composed by the founding members. After that the Committee will be elected by the General Assembly. The Leadership Committee can decide, only at their first meeting, to change this rule and hold elections to change/confirm appointed members, to change the number of people serving on the Committee or to change the time that they will serve.
Elected/appointed Members of the Committee may serve only for two consecutive terms. Appointed members serve at the request of the Committee for as long as both parties agree.
Candidates for the Committee cannot be a member of any other international Travel Writers organization for at least one year prior to the elections.
In case of resignation, exclusion or death, the Committee shall replace the member until the next election.
The General Assembly shall elect a new Committee, every four years.
Article 11.2: Meeting of the Committee
The Committee meets at least once a year, or as necessary, separately from the Annual General Meeting. Meetings shall be held in person, by teleconference, or by electronic mail, instant messaging, or other electronic means as designated by and agreed to by members of The Committee.
Decisions are taken by simple majority. In case of equal votes, the vote of the president makes the difference.
Article 11.3: Remuneration
The functions of the members of the Committee are honorary. However, certain expenses linked to the association’s life can be reimbursed after presentation of the justifiable documentation.
Article 11.4 Responsibility
Members of The Committee shall not be personally liable for the debts, liabilities, or other obligations of WTMG.
Article 12: Committee Members
Article 12.1: Composition of the Committee
The first Committee is composed of four elected members – a President, a Vice President and two Committee members – and an appointed Secretary and an appointed Treasurer. The appointed members will not have a vote on the issues that come before the Committee.
All members of The Committee, whether named, appointed, or elected must be Journalist members of WTMG in good standing and meet all requirements for productivity.
Members of The Committee may be represented at any meeting by Proxy. A copy of the Proxy, shall be delivered to the Secretary. The person holding the Proxy shall be authorized to cast the vote(s) for the absent member. The Proxy may be given in any written form expressing its intent; a fax, photocopy, or email shall be as valid as a signed original. Proxies may be given for all issues to be decided during that meeting, except for elections, or limited to any particular issue(s). In all cases, the proxy must be in writing and is limited to one per person.
All members of The Committee are equal in all issues that come before The Committee. The only exception is the President who presides over meetings and casts the deciding vote in the event of a tie.
The Committee has the right to appoint Ad Hoc agents or to create sub-committees for the purpose of assisting and serving The Committee. Members of the sub-committees can be members of The Committee or any member of WTMG.
Article 12.2: Functions of the Committee Members
President – The president shall represent the WTMG before official or private organizations and third parties. He may, however, delegate his powers to a member or members of The Committee. The President’s vote is decisive in the event of tied voting by The Committee. The president shall act as chairman in the Committee. In case of prevention, the vice-president shall act as representative.
Vice President – The Vice President will automatically replace the President at all meetings and official gatherings and ceremonies in the event of the absence, illness or resignation of the President unless another person is specifically named as a replacement by the President.
Secretary – The Secretary: shall provide administrative and other support and assistance as needed, required, and requested by members of the Leadership Committee and provides an annual report to the membership at the annual General Membership Meeting. The Committee can appoint an assistant to the Secretary if necessary.
Treasurer – The treasurer is responsible for the all matters concerning the accountings. The Treasurer shall submit a financial report each year to The Committee, The Directors, and to the Annual General Meeting for acceptance.
Article 13: Arbitration Committee and Auditors
The arbitration committee shall be charged with the disputes and conflicts regarding the members.
Its duration shall be three years and its members shall not belong to any other organ in the association.
Auditors shall be elected for three years and shall not belong to any other organ on the association.
Article 14: THE ANNUAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY
Article 14.1: The general assembly shall be called once annually. It shall comprise the members liable to contribute. They shall possess a personal right to vote.
Article 14.2: Members shall have the right to discuss and advice on all matters that come before the General Assembly.
Article 14.3: Procedures
The President presides over the Annual General Meeting. When the President cannot be present, the Vice President or a member of The Committee appointed by the President or his representative presides.
The agenda of the Annual General Assembly is prepared by the President. The General Assembly is responsible for
- Discussion and approval of the annual activity report, action plan, resolutions and recommendations
- Discussion and Approval of the financial report, budget and annual membership fees
- Election of the Committee (president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer), Appointment of the members of the arbitrary committee and the auditors
- Amendments to the Bylaws
- Approval of the internal rules, on a proposal of the Committee
- Exclusion of members
- Date and agenda of the General Assembly is communicated to the members at least 21 days before.
- A member may request the inclusion of items on the Agenda by sending the item(s) at least 30 days prior to the meeting to the Secretary.
- Decisions of the Annual General Meeting are taken by a majority of votes of those present at a valid Annual General Meeting.
Article 15: Extraordinary general assembly
In emergencies, an Extraordinary General Meeting can be convened by either the President in coordination with the other members of The Committee, or by the members or, when requested in writing by a majority of members. The reasons for the meeting must be presented in writing and include an agenda. The notice must be provided to the general membership in sufficient time for them to arrange to attend the meeting, but must be at least 21 days in advance.
TITLE IV: FINANCING AND ACCOUNTING
Article 16: Resources
The financial means available to the WTMG are:
- The dues of the members
- Revenue from the Annual General Meeting and other events of the WTMG
- Subsidies and grants and any other legal resource whose nature and advisability are left to the judgment of The Committee.
Article 17: Accounting
Accounts are kept by the treasurer including all revenues and expenditure.
The accounts are verified once a year by the auditors.
The accounts run from January 1 to December 31.
All money shall be deposited on a bank account designated by The Committee.
TITLE V: DISSOLUTION
Article 18: Dissolution
The dissolution of the association shall be decided by the General Assembly. This decision needs a two-third majority of the members having the voting rights;
Article 19: Assets
In case of dissolution, the extraordinary Assembly shall designate the liquidator(s) which are charged to liquidate the assets according to the legislation.
TITLE VI: AMENDMENTS TO THE BYLAWS AND INTERNAL RULES
Article 20: Amendments
Amendments to or a repeal of these Bylaws may be proposed on the initiative or upon petition of any valid Active member.
All amendments need the approval of the General Assembly.
Article 21: Internal rules
The Committee shall prepare internal rules which may complete the present Bylaws. Such internal rules must be ratified by the General Assembly before they take effect.