Each year the Adventure Travel Trade Association seeks motivated tour operators who show a demonstrated potential for positive impact on local cultural, ecological or historical resources for the Tour Operator Scholarship program. This year the ATTA teamed up with Visit Greenland to offer three scholarships to early-stage adventure tour operators to attend the 2016 Adventure Travel World Summit (#ATWS2016) in Anchorage, Alaska, and gain access to the ATTA’s global network of over 1,000 members, membership resources and benefits. New for this year, the ATTA partnered with the Adventure Angels to offer an additional scholarship to a woman-owned business based in an emerging market country.
The recipients of the tour operator scholarships are:
Legends of the Wild (United States), funding important wildlife conservation efforts through citizen science small group trips
“Legends Of The Wild was started specifically to provide an incremental source of funding for scientific field research aimed at wildlife conservation. We very much need to learn how to more effectively market our wildlife tours, whose individual itineraries are complex and custom designed, and we are eager to participate in and benefit from the valuable mentorship and professional development offered through ATTA membership and at the 2016 ATTA World Summit.”
-- Ray Smith, founder
Kurdistan Iraq Tours (United States), pioneering tourism and rebranding Kurdistan as a safe and secure destination in a “sea of chaos and violence”
“We established Kurdistan Iraq Tours LLC when no one else would enter the business and kept it alive when all others failed during war and economic hardship.We have finally turned the corner after an extended time of crisis and look forward to a bright future in this amazing land of beauty and adventure. I look forward to an invigorating exchange with my fellow adventure travel company owners.”
-- Douglas Layton, owner
True Adventure (Iceland), specializing in paragliding over southern Iceland and ensuring accessibility through its Flying Chair Project, enabling travelers with mobility impairments the opportunity to fly
“Being a small business that's just starting up doesn't give you many opportunities to attend big conferences. So the news that True Adventure has been chosen to win The Tour Operator Scholarship Program and attend the ATTA Summit is truly awesome.”
-- Gisli Steinar Johannesson, founder
Colibri Spanish School (Nicaragua), offering immersive Spanish language classes and more through its Transformational Travel program*
“As a Nicaraguan business woman, I’ll take advantage of this wonderful opportunity which is a big door opened not only for me but for so many other of my fellows Nicaraguan women. I’m very excited and challenged to participate in the Summit and I am ready to go to Alaska and establish connections, offer our Transformational Travels and promote my country.”
-- Noelia Corrales, owner
*Colibri Spanish School was selected by the Adventure Angels.
Congratulations to these operators, who proved to the selection committee that their companies have potential for positive impact on local cultural and natural resources, a high level of professional ethics and practices, and a plan to use the ATWS experience to build long-term and lasting success.
The 2016 Adventure Travel World Summit will be held September 19 – 22 in Anchorage, Alaska, bringing together over 700 delegates from across the global adventure travel industry. Tour Operator Scholarship recipients receive a ticket to the Summit ($1,150 USD value), a Marketplace table at the Summit ($500 value), $1,500 travel stipend for airfare to Alaska and complimentary membership to the ATTA for one year ($600 USD value).