AdventureTravelNews

ATTA President Gains Special Insights During South Africa Trade Journey

Written By:
Shannon Stowell

I recently attended Indaba, Africa’s largest travel trade show, which attracted nearly 13,000 travel professionals who primarily sell Southern Africa. The event was in Durban, South Africa and was an incredible introduction for us to the trade of that region. I also had the honor and opportunity to speak at the Responsible Luxury Summit, hosted by ATTA member CCAfrica. It was a spirited gathering of approximately 100 tour operators, media and lodge owners discussing the subject of responsibility in the luxury tourism sector. It was encouraging to hear this influential group taking stands and moving forward on not only putting their own operations under the magnifying glass of sustainability and responsibility, but also how they are making efforts to gently encourage travelers to think about their own responsibility as well. An enlightening experience.

At the ATTA, we consider adventure tourism to be a mix of physical activity, cultural immersion and environmental interaction at it’s core. Safari and bush experiences certainly qualify under these identifiers and yet many, many people in the travel business I spoke to at Indaba immediately said something to the effect of, “We’re not really adventure travel, we don’t do bungee jumping or shark cage diving”. After a little conversation, the realization that adventure to the CONSUMER is a much broader concept and that it is dangerous from a marketing and positioning standpoint to miss this point. A sense of and experience of adventure is what drives much of today’s leisure travel business and companies would do well to appeal to that sensibility within the traveler.

I certainly enjoyed the experience and made incredible connections with people from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Namibia, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar and more…. We look forward to more connections within Africa for the Global Network of ATTA members and partners…..

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