Adventure Travel Association Announces Bill Richardson’s Participation in 2011 World Summit in Chiapas, Mexico

12 April 2011

(SEATTLE) – Governor Bill Richardson will be the featured closing keynote speaker at the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s (ATTA) Adventure Travel World Summit on October 20, 2011, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico.

Known for his work as a diplomat and special envoy on sensitive missions to win the release of hostages, American servicemen and prisoners in North Korea, Iraq, Cuba and Sudan, Richardson has recently founded the Richardson Peace Institute which will train government entities in peacekeeping and hostage negotiations.

"Throughout my travels in the effort of diplomacy worldwide, it has become clear that connecting on a basis of a sense of place can be a lynchpin for creating peace," said Governor Bill Richardson, who served as Governor of New Mexico between 2002 and 2010. "To truly make progress in any business, understanding of local cultural heritage and possessing a sense of adventure is paramount."

For the ATTA’s World Summit, Richardson will address the potential for peace through the development of adventure tourism. An avid outdoorsman, Richardson was known during his tenure as Governor as for his horsemanship and as a keen marksman. Combined with his embrace of all things Western, his progressive policies on clean energy, the development of a powerful film industry, and other issues such as education and health care made him one of the state’s most popular Governors.

“Increasingly, adventure tourism is attracting the attention of prominent leaders worldwide because it brings tangible benefits in the form of positive economic impact, conservation and improved cultural awareness and understanding,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “Governor Richardson’s inspirational message of peace through tourism is expected to have profound impact on the deeper human potential of adventure tourism.”

"Throughout my travels in the effort of diplomacy worldwide, it has become clear that connecting on a basis of a sense of place can be a lynchpin for creating peace."

Governor Richardson will be speaking during the closing events on the final evening of the Chiapas Summit. Raised in Mexico City, Richardson will be addressing the group in both English and Spanish.

Chiapas was chosen for the preferred Summit location by ATTA due to its partnership orientation as well as the destination’s readiness and willingness to press forward on progressive adventure tourism development. Additionally, Chiapas was identified as having potential benefits to the local tourism economy and the ATTA’s members worldwide.

Entering its seventh year, the ATTA’s Summit conferences engage, enlighten, inspire, and energize the leaders of the adventure travel community with networking, business and professional development programs, educational seminars and emerging adventure destination product review opportunities.

Additional keynote addresses for the 2011 Adventure Travel World Summit, themed, “Prosper with Purpose”, include:

  • Maryann Fernandez - Founder & President - Philanthropy Indaba
  • Leilani Latimer - Director, Sustainability Initiatives - Sabre Holdings
  • Bruce Poon Tip - Founder - GAP Adventures
  • Ben Sherman - President- Medicine Root, Inc.
  • Jens Thraenhart - Co-founder & President - Dragon Trail, previously with the Canadian Tourism Commission and Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
  • Tensie Whelan - President – Rainforest Alliance
Partners for the 2011 ATWS include the Chiapas Convention and Visitors Bureau, the State Government of Chiapas, the Tourism Ministry of Mexico and the Mexico Tourism Promotion Board, along with Eddie Bauer as a Major Sponsor.

Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying and responsibly growing the adventure travel market worldwide.