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Accelerating Pan-European Adventure Community + Capacity Building

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In the September 2016 installment of AdventureTravelNews, ATTA’s Europe team reported that one of its major efforts in the first half the year throughout Europe was focused on the ATTA’s first multi-country regional adventure conference –  AdventureNEXT Balkans.

The second half of 2016 saw the ATTA’s Europe team attend the September Adventure Travel World Summit in Alaska, then shift gears to 11 additional in-adventure destination visits in Europe to host five ATTA networking events, three AdventureEDU training programs, and speak at key trade gatherings. Its fall/winter schedule was meant to accelerate a broader pan-European “movement” to stimulate deeper public and private sector networking within and across European destinations, further support capacity building through education and training centered around the 10 pillars featured in the Adventure Tourism Development Index, to lend in-person connection for ATTA Members, and to lay the groundwork for possible destination hosts for ATTA-led events in the coming years.

AdventureEDU Guide Training Sarajevo

AdventureEDU Guide Training Sarajevo

Here are a few highlights since its September report: 

  • September 20 – 23, 2016: Annual French trade show, The International French Travel Market Top Resa, Paris, France. The ATTA’s first trade show engagement in France, building off its 2015 reconnaissance in Sud de France. At Top Resa, the ATTA connected with various French tourism boards and representatives of the private sector with common discussion threads revolving around the need to develop a stronger adventure tourism trade community to support responsible and adventure tourism development.
  • September 27 – 28, 2016: The ATTA Executive Director-Europe Chris Doyle and Special Projects –Europe Tereza Georgieva attended Global Green Destinations Day International Conference in Ljubljana, Slovenia, at which Chris gave a keynote speech on the importance of Adventure Tourism and presented global industry trends. As part of the conference, the ATTA held its first AdventureConnect in Slovenia. More than 25 people from at least eight countries joined the event and engaged in a fruitful discussion by sharing their personal views on current challenges and successful practices. More detailed information can be found in this article
  • October 13, 2016: The ATTA, represented by Chris, in partnership with Parks & Wildlife Finland organized AdventureConnect in Kuusamo, Finland where a small and highly motivated group from the private and public sector gathered to discuss ways for future collaboration and progress towards the adventure tourism development. Ahead of the event, Chris explored Oulanka National Park with public and private sector leaders to better understand the region’s challenges. Following the event, Finland’s National Tourism Board joined the ATTA as a member and became an official part of the global adventure community. At this link you can watch the video recording from the AdventureConnect event
  • October 19 – 21, 2016: Chris attended ‘TheALPS’ conference which unites tourism partners from France, Switzerland, Italy and Austria, in Innsbruck, During this event the ATTA (with super on-ground support from ATTA Member Ambros Gasser Managing Director @ ASI Reisen / Alpinschule Innsbruck) held strategic meetings with regional and national tourism boards. Austria conveyed serious interest in possibly hosting an ATTA event in the coming years.
  • October 25 – 29, 2016: The first AdventureEDU Immersion Field Training for Adventure Travel Guides in Europe took place in the Western Balkans (in Bosnia and Herzegovina) with 20 guides from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. A more detailed article on the training and its outcomes can be found here.
  • October 31 – November 3, 2016: Innovative Experiences Conference was held in Northern Norway. In a half-day workshop, Chris engaged with Northern Norway leaders in tackling capacity management and long-range vision challenges for the region (additional details in this article).
  • November 1 – 5, 2016: The second in Europe AdventureEDU Immersion Field Training for Adventure Travel Guides took place in the Caucasus (in Armenia) and gathered 20 guides from Armenia and Georgia. More details about the training can be explored following this link
  • November 3, 2016: AdventureConnect in Skopje, Macedonia – Gergana and Tereza presented early outcomes, impressions, and possible next steps as a result of the May 2016 AdventureNEXT~Balkans. This gathering, first of its kind since the regional conference in May, brought together around 35 people from the Balkans region seeking guidance on next steps to build off the momentum of the May conference, as well as to ensure continued connectivity between local actors and commitment to progress.
  • November 7 – 9, 2016: The ATTA team met with tourism industry leaders and the adventure community in London during the annual trade exhibition, World Travel Market and organized an AdventureConnect event, supported by PROMPERÚ. More than 160 people attended from nearly 40 countries to gather global adventure travel trends and seeking insights from ATTA Members on product innovation through adventure route and theme development. Detailed report can be read here.
  • November 10th, 2016: AdventureConnect: Sofia, Bulgaria was the first gathering there, joined by over 60 Bulgarian adventure travel representatives. They met the ATTA team – Gergana and Tereza, learned about the global adventure travel trends, about the ATTA, and to explore the possibilities of engaging with the global adventure community.
  • November 15 – 16, 2016: Adventure EDU training took place in Västerås, Sweden where 75 participants – mostly from Sweden with several from Norway and Finland – gained insights from the first level-two AdventureEDU program, which included “deep-dives” into Adventure Product Portfolio Development and Industry Insights and How Behavioral Economics Can Drive Better Adventure Marketing.
  • November 17: Sotenäs, West Sweden – Twelve non-tourism industry commerce leaders representing two municipalities invited the ATTA to deliver a vision for how adventure tourism might complement their communities and existing industries (e.g., fishing, farming, etc.). There, Chris offered insights into adventure tourism, philosophy in destination development and capacity management, and cross-industry collaboration in adventure tourism can lead to direct and indirect local economic impact.
  • November 22-23: Sort and Camprodon, Catalunya, Spain. Chris joined Visit Pirineus to present the ATTA at their annual meetings in two separate Catalan communities (Sort and Camprodon) sandwiched inside the Pyrenees. Participants included destinations, incoming agencies and other tourist enterprises. Emphasis of each meeting was to share the importance of collaboration between private and public sectors and the possibilities for international exposure of the destinations as adventure travel hot spots. Further, discussions centered upon long term common vision for branding and the experiences of the authentic culture and nature of both regions.
  • December 1 – 2, 2016: AdventureEDU Training, with Jack Delf from Black Mountain Montenegro, Mike Brcic from Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures and Chris Doyle/ATTA for the Western Balkans was held in Belgrade, Serbia. Around 40 representatives from several Balkans destinations attended the AdventureEDU (Business Management and Operational Excellence) to further build capacity and knowledge for higher quality experiences and better business performance. 
November’s AdventureEDU training event in Västerås, Sweden

November’s AdventureEDU training event in Västerås, Sweden

See the full ATTA Events Calendar for the upcoming events and gatherings in 2017 around the globe.

Please direct any enquiries about these or other European-based events to [email protected]

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