8 October 2004

(SEATTLE, WASH.) – October 8, 2004 – Unifying and strengthening the profile and voice of the adventure travel industry while adding authoritative marketing, research, networking, and education services for members marks the revitalized direction for the 14-year-old Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) under the leadership of its new president, outdoor and travel industry veteran Mr. Shannon Stowell.

Stowell acquired the ATTA, a marketing-driven membership service organization representing the adventure travel trade industry, from the Adventure Travel Society (ATS), a travel consulting firm.  Terms of the agreement were undisclosed.

“Despite modest increases in participation in recent years, adventure travel remains one of the industry’s greatest growth areas,” said Stowell.  “This category has been stymied by under-representation and a lack of visibility and understanding among media, analysts and consumers, not to mention the negative influences of broader security issues.  Despite these challenges, opportunities remain for the ATTA and its members to raise the adventure travel industry’s profile worldwide through industry-leading research and analysis, alliance building, networking, and effective and timely trade and consumer outreach and education.”

To maximize the adventure travel category’s growth potential, the ATTA has several initiatives underway to spur industry-wide awareness and growth, among them, consumer market research and outreach, a new member benefits program, and strategic development of an active ATTA Advisory Board representative of critical elements of the adventure travel industry.  The ATTA’s current slate of influential board appointments include (additional board selections to be announced by January 2005):

  • Francis X. Farrell, Publisher, National Geographic Adventure Magazine
  • Rick Hemmerling, President, Ex Officio
  • Perry Lungmus, EVP, Virtuoso and former Abercrombie & Kent executive
  • Thornton May, Futurist, World Bank
  • Megan McCormick, Host of PBS Television’s “Globe-Trekker” Series
  • John Poimiroo, travel and tourism marketing communications consultant, Travel Editor of California Magazine, and former California State Tourism Director
  • Everett Potter, Contributing Editor, New York Times Syndicate, USA Today, Outside  and others
  • Steve Trautman, Principal, Solution Strategies, former executive
  • Ed Viesturs, America’s leading high-altitude mountaineer, author of “Himalayan Quest”
  • Russell Walters, President, Northern Outdoors
In its first endeavor under Stowell’s leadership, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) will exhibit at the Adventures in Travel Expo (Booth #816) in San Mateo, Calif., October 8-10, 2004.  At this first Expo, the ATTA will conduct general trade and consumer outreach, connect with and survey show-goers to identify interests and trends, and market the organization’s new vision.

The ATTA also is increasing its 2005 visibility at key adventure travel shows, including the Adventures in Travel Expos in Chicago (January 7-9), New York City (January 14-16), and Washington, D.C. (January 28-30), as well as Outside’s Chicago 2005 Travel Show (January 19-23) and The New York Times 2005 Travel Show (March 4-6).  In New York in January, the ATTA plans to introduce a new membership fee structure supported by an entirely new collection of member benefits, advisory board additions, a new interactive Web presence, as well as access to previously unavailable resources, proprietary adventure travel consumer research, and marketing opportunities for adventure travel businesses.

Emphasizing trade and consumer advocacy for worldwide adventure travel, the ATTA intends to re-establish itself as the industry’s most credible source of relevant industry studies and forecasts.  To support its goals, the ATTA has secured early sponsorships with adventure travel gear companies Ex Officio and Eagle Creek.  With sponsor assistance, the ATTA also plans to undertake publicity and marketing campaigns dedicated to promoting an overall increase in consumer participation and diversity in adventure travel.

Stowell most recently co-founded and served as vice president of business development for Kirkland, Washington-based outdoor lifestyle e-retailer  Prior to Altrec, he spent years working in the Pacific Rim with NCA International Environmental Laboratories.  During stints with both organizations, he gained extensive experience in business development, marketing, operations, strategic partner relations, environmental management, international travel, and in the outdoors and adventure travel industries.  His non-profit board work includes four years on the board of the American Hiking Society.

Seattle, Washington-based ATTA ( is a strategic membership organization dedicated to raising the profile of adventure travel in the United States and abroad.  The ATTA, established in 1990, provides valuable services, knowledge and connections that help ATTA members succeed in their businesses, thereby helping the whole industry grow.