Notes from The Field     Photo © ATTA / Juno Kim

Harnessing the Energy of Adventure Travel Guides: Summit Group Works to Move Toward Training Standards

October 21, 2014

It probably would surprise most adventure travelers to learn that there aren’t any global qualification standards for adventure travel guides. In some countries, a university degree is required to lead adventure trips, while in others professional experience is emphasized more than education. Some activities like climbing and rafting have specific training programs that offer certificates to guides upon completion, however these aren’t always recognized from country to country. Dan Moore leads a panel discussion on guide qualification and training at this year’s ATWS is Ireland. Photo © ATTA / Juno Kim It’s clear that there is a need for consistent global guide qualifications and a training program to deliver those qualifications. “But why do we need it now?” asked  Pandion Consulting’s Dan Moore of a room full of delegates at the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) this October in Ireland. “Because of our industry’s explosive growth,” Moore said. Growing 65 percent... Read More →

Adventure Travel World Summit     Photo © ATTA / Juno Kim

WATCH: Thousands of Adventure Travel Connections Made During ATWS Marketplace & MediaConnect

October 21, 2014

At the Adventure Travel World Summit, the Marketplace & MediaConnect sessions are unique opportunities for travel buyers, suppliers and media to form lasting partnerships. Over one thousand pre-arranged meetings occur during Marketplace and hundreds of four-minute pitches take place during MediaConnect. Marketplace Photo © ATTA / Juno Kim The global Marketplace at this year’s Adventure Travel World Summit featured 134 suppliers and 88 buyers from over 60 countries. Marketplace provides a focused setting for new partnerships to form. Inbound tour operators and destinations make up the suppliers and buyers are outbound operators, travel agents and media. The five-hour session provided the setting for over 1,200 scheduled meetings and an unknowable number of impromptu conversations. Each delegate averaged 13 separate meetings, each lasting an average of 17 minutes. Marketplace has become a hallmark of the ATTA’s ability to provide networking opportunities for members and potential... Read More →

Notes from The Field     Photo © Harald Haaland

ATWS Delegates Go Head-to-Head with the Digital Future

October 14, 2014

Photo © Harald Haaland On the final day of the Adventure Travel World Summit in Killarney, Ireland, the ATTA brought to the stage four digital leaders in the travel industry to share with delegates what they see when they peer into their modern-day crystal balls: swirling images of big data, website analytics, social media madness and a sliver of the dreams that travel plans are made of. The plenary session was conducted as a panel discussion with Matador’s Ross Borden moderating. On the couch were Google’s Scott Field, Facebook’s Victoria Heaton and TripAdvisor’s Minesh Shah. The 90-minute session covered a lot of ground, but participants made it clear that things are moving toward mobile devices with more bite-sized chunks of content but an enduring focus on excellent customer service. Mobile Devices “There are more mobile phones in the world than toothbrushes,” Facebook’s Victoria Heaton told the audience in one of the most tweetable moments of the entire Summit. Perhaps... Read More →

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Adventure in Motion Film Contest with Yahoo Travel: Winners Announced at Screening in Ireland

October 14, 2014

(SEATTLE) October 15, 2014 – A live audience at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Killarney, Ireland, on October 9, 2014, voted on their favorite short films from six finalists in the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s (ATTA; inaugural short film contest called Adventure in Motion with Yahoo Travel. There were 137 entries in the contest, which was open to any tourism organization or business that produced a travel film four minutes or less in length in the last year. A jury selected six finalists, whose films were screened during the closing session of the Summit. The two winners, voted on by the audience, are “Pride of Namibia” from World Wildlife Fund and “Reconsider South Africa” from South African Tourism. “The only thing that can inspire and energize the soul more than the art of travel is the art of film,” said WWF filmmaker Andy Maser. Maser’s colleague Jenny Nichols added, “It’s an honor to be able to use film as a medium to tell... Read More →

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AdventureConnect: London at World Travel Market

October 14, 2014

Join the ATTA for AdventureConnect, held in cooperation with WTM – World Travel Market, on Thursday, November 6 in the South Gallery Double Room 19 & 20. This three-part program includes guest presenters: Keith Bellows, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief National Geographic Traveler, Lyn Hughes, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief,Wanderlust Magazine, Chris Doyle – ATTA Executive Director Europe, and Ulrika Larsson – ATTA Member Advocate Europe, and the following topics: ATTA: Condensed Adventure Travel Trends for the Travel Professional – Chris Doyle, Lyn Hughes and Ulrika Larsson ATTA & National Geographic Traveler…A Forum: Pioneering the Next Fifty Years, Today – Chris Doyle & Keith Bellows Casual Social Networking Full Agenda Part I – 10:00-11:00 Condensed Trends for the Travel Professional Access adventure travel trends and research in simple, easily digestible pieces you can use to make both short- and long-term business decisions for responsible tourism... Read More →

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World Wildlife Fund and Adventure Travel Trade Association Partner to Advance Conservation Travel

October 7, 2014

(SEATTLE) October 8, 2014 – Today during the 2014 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in Killarney, Ireland, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining their collaborative strategy to advance conservation of the planet’s most precious wildlife, landscapes and seascapes – resources upon which the travel industry itself depends. Over the last two years the ATTA and WWF have worked to understand and highlight the interdependence of the travel industry and the conservation of the natural world that is the destination of the adventure traveler. This interdependence is embodied in their joint Conservation Travel initiative. Conservation Travel is sustainable tourism that connects the traveler with nature and supports its protection by ensuring benefits from tourism investment flow to the local stewards of wildlife and wildlands. WWF has pursued Conservation Travel as a key strategy in its mission to build a... Read More →

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ATTA Takes “Pulse” of U.S. Adventure Travelers for Latest Research

October 7, 2014

The Adventure Travel Trade Association is releasing an infographic today representing research findings from the 2014 Adventure Pulse report. This first “pulse” profiles U.S. adventure travelers. Future pulse research will look at adventure travelers in other countries or regions. The U.S. pulse results allowed the ATTA to introduce a new approach to segmenting adventure travelers into “types”: Adventure Grazers, Adventurers and Adventure Enthusiasts. Survey questions refined the differences between the types, probing differences in skill level, whether they repeat activities or bounce around, how they understand risk as an element of their experience and the values they hold. The Adventure Pulse data allows tour operators and travel advisors to go beyond basic gender and age categorizations of clientele to inform their product development and marketing efforts with a more nuanced view of potential clients. For example, instead of just thinking in terms of marketing to men, women... Read More →

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Adventure Travel Trade Association Releases First Global Adventure Bicycle Tourism Report

September 30, 2014

(SEATTLE) October 1, 2014 – The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA; released the results of the first global bicycle tourism survey for the adventure travel industry. Each year the ATTA invites adventure businesses to share anonymous information about their companies and uses that data to compile a report called the Industry Snapshot. The 2014 Bicycle Tourism survey follows a similar methodology, but focuses only on adventure businesses offering cycling trips or activities. Nearly 200 tour companies completed the survey, providing a large quantity of data from a variety of countries for the report. The results include statistics on Average Cycling Trip Length and Price, Types of Cycling Activities, Difficulty of Trip, Bike Brands & Types Used, Training Requirements for Guides and Cycling Customer Demographics. The companies surveyed, which includes both cycling-exclusive and mixed-offering tour companies, received an average of 45.6% of their revenue... Read More →

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The Western Balkans Makes Its Move, Gains International Buyer, Journalist Favor

September 30, 2014

By Chris Doyle, ATTA Executive Director-Europe, and Kirk Smock, Sustainable Tourism Specialist, CARANA Corporation In early 2014, the USAID Small Business Expansion Project (SBEP) and the Regional Economic Growth (REG) Project initiated a conversation with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) about hosting Europe’s first ATTA AdventureWeek – an intensive familiarization tour (FAM) concept designed by the ATTA to generate immediate visibility for destinations by leveraging their global membership network of outbound tour operators, specialized media and travel advisors — in the Western Balkan countries of Kosovo, Albania and Macedonia. It was an ambitious idea, and success would require leadership from the ATTA, unprecedented cooperation between the governments of all three countries, unified efforts from several USAID Missions and the involvement of local stakeholders with limited exposure to the international tourism market. Photo © Gregg Bleakney AdventureWeek Western... Read More →

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ATTA Partners with San Francisco Community to Support World Tourism Day, ECPAT

September 30, 2014

Happy winners of ExOfficio gear. Raffle prize donated by Eagle Creek. On Thursday, September 25th, the ATTA joined forces with Travel Massive, Altruvistas and Triple Pundit to provide a special AdventureConnect San Francisco event in honor of World Tourism Day (WTD), the UNWTO’s annual initiative to highlight tourism’s social, cultural, political and economic value. Approximately 85 guests enjoyed networking and four industry speakers on topics within the 2014 WTD theme – Tourism and Community Development. The event revenue was donated to ECPAT International, a key ATTA partner. A collection of of local businesses gifted experiential prizes for the charity raffle; ATTA community members Eagle Creek and Barrelhead Brew House also contributed prize items, and event sponsor ExOfficio donated raffle items while contributing to food and beverage. Speakers included: Rodney A. Fong, the Vice President of the SF Planning Commission, an Executive Board Member of the San Francisco Super... Read More →

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