Adventure Travel Trade Association Announces the 2023 Adventure Travel World Summit Will Be Held in Hokkaido, Japan

8 February 2022

The 2023 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS), the annual travel industry event hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), will be held in Hokkaido, Japan, 11-14 September. The highly anticipated announcement was made during the recent Adventure Travel World Summit, presented in a virtual setting - an event in which Hokkaido, Japan was due to host in-person before global travel was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The ATTA’s annual Summit event draws hundreds of industry professionals from around the world for several days of educational programming, a marketplace, lauded keynote speakers, ample time for one-on-one networking including a focused session with attending media, and exploration of the host destination. This will be the first ATWS on the Asian continent, signaling the importance of Japan as a major player in adventure tourism, as well as the growing global opportunities for adventure travel. 

One of the highlights of ATWS Virtual 2021 Hokkaido, Japan, which took place September 20 - 24, was the array of Japan Virtual Adventures presented to attendees showcasing the adventurous side of Japan. These adventures, conveyed through thirty-minute documentary-style travel films, included exploring Eastern Hokkaido to learn about the drift ice phenomenon along the Shiretoko Coast, forest bathing where the internationally renowned Japanese Haiku poet Matsuo Basho was inspired to write, experiencing Ainu culture through camping and ceremonies, and even ascending and summiting Mt. Fuji where learnings of pilgrimages and cultural experiences culminate. These virtual short-films, not typically presented during live events, provided a uniquely inspiring experience for all attendees. 

Naomichi Suzuki, Governor of Hokkaido and President of ATWS Hokkaido Executive Committee stated, “Asia’s first Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) was a virtual event hosted by Hokkaido in September 2021. I am truly delighted by the decision to hold ATWS 2023 in-person in Hokkaido so that we can actually welcome you at the summit. Hokkaido, the northernmost island of Japan, is surrounded by fertile seas on all four sides and is also blessed with great natural splendor, including places inhabited by endemic species of flora and fauna. Hokkaido is the place where the culture of the indigenous Ainu people has been handed down. It also abounds in food, hot springs, and other local resources. People can enjoy a myriad of outdoor activities, including cycling, canoeing, and trekking, in Hokkaido. At ATWS 2023, I hope we can go a step further than what we communicated online at ATWS 2021. I am eager to see you actually experience the unique adventure travel Hokkaido, Japan, has to offer, and discover its appeal as a novel destination.”

Attending outbound tour operators, travel advisors, and media will have the opportunity to explore adventure opportunities across Japan on pre-adventures prior to the event. These adventures provide inspiration and connections for innovative product development for the industry, storytelling for media, and creative solutions for travel advisors looking to satisfy their adventurous clients’ needs.

On the first day of the Summit, delegates are invited to participate in the Day of Adventure, which will introduce them to adventure activities available in and around Sapporo, Hokkaido. A rugged yet peaceful destination, Hokkaido’s mountains, coastlines, and vibrant valleys hold opportunities for hiking, kayaking, tasting and exploring the food delicacies of the region, and exploring the cities and towns with ample opportunities to experience local Japanese culture. 

Shannon Stowell, ATTA CEO shared, “Having discovered Hokkaido myself in the last 5 years, I’m confident that delegates will be blown away by the beauty of nature, the activities, the food and the people, including the local Ainu whose traditions are being preserved by the people themselves. The adventure travel professional community, having been bereft of this ATWS experience in 2021 I believe means the enthusiasm for the event, for Hokkaido, for Japan and each other will be phenomenal. We can’t wait to follow through on this long-awaited event and help connect the global adventure travel community to the wonderful Japanese hosts and partners.” 

To learn more and receive updates about the Adventure Travel World Summit 2023 Hokkaido, visit