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2018 World Summit Theme, Keynote Speakers Encourage Delegates to Return to Their Roots

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In Renaissance times, the Latin term ad fontes encouraged people to “return to the sources,” realizing that a return to origins can bring the clarity necessary for fresh innovation and creativity. The 2018 Adventure Travel World Summit beckons delegates from around the world to participate in a similar opportunity: to reconnect with the core ideals at the heart of adventure travel and the community driving these ideals around the world.

The 2018 World Summit theme, Wellspring, invites delegates to revisit roots of adventure travel. © ATTA / Josiah Holwick

From 15-18 October in Tuscany, Italy, the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s (ATTA) annual Summit invites delegates to reconnect with the essence of adventure and consider the future of adventure travel from a stripped-down perspective. This year’s theme, Wellspring, encompasses this notion and will assert itself throughout the event, particularly during plenary discussions, which have just been announced.

David Quammen will be the first to encourage delegates to return to their roots during the opening plenary, “The Wellspring and the Mud: Adventure Travel in a Fragile World.” Quammen, a noteworthy explorer and writer whose diverse works contemplate the interconnected world of science and nature, shares stories and advice in this inspirational reflection and call to action. Though each person may play a very small part in a very big world, the work and influence done on an individual level have incredible power to inspire and motivate travelers from all walks of life.

Best-selling author, international businessman, and daring adventurer Yossi Ghinsberg will also take the stage to share his inspiring story from his time in the Bolivian Amazon, where he established a deep connection with the Uchupiamonas people. He discusses how he found his wellspring in connection — to the earth and to this remote tribal community — and suggests all people are able to uncover innovative and collaborative solutions to complex problems when they connect and come together.

“Tuscany is well known as a wellspring of inspiration and learning for the great talents from the worlds of arts and culture, which inspired the theme of this year’s Summit,” said Christina Beckmann, director of education and research at the ATTA. “We were delighted to uncover the region’s deep roots in adventure as well. As delegates will discover, Tuscany offers a wonderful reconnection with the essence of adventure travel.”

The Via Francigena — now used for biking and trekking in Tuscany — is a historical pathway in Europe that leads to Rome.

The ATTA’s CEO, Shannon Stowell, will close the 2018 Adventure Travel World Summit with a call to all community members to take specific action through their businesses and communication channels to help benefit nature and communities around the world. When Stowell first addressed the adventure travel community at the Summit held in Seattle, Washington, in 2005, he spoke from the heart about why adventure businesses needed to join together and how, with a shared passion for adventure travel, the community could be a force for good. In the 13 years since, the commercial adventure industry has matured and grown. Also in this time, the effects of climate change have intensified, and citizens of the world are facing a challenge only collective action will overcome. Stowell’s closing presentation illuminates how far the adventure travel community has come in the last several years and casts a light on the path ahead, encouraging delegates to take action and ignite the same passion in travelers that industry professionals have for the earth and its people.

The ATTA invites the adventure travel community to revisit its roots and reconsider the important role it plays in the industry at this year’s Adventure Travel World Summit. Stay tuned for more information on added sessions and agenda updates by signing up to receive event updates.

Registration is now open.

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