9 January 2006

(SEATTLE, WASH.) – January, 2006 – The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) today announced it has postponed, re-calibrated and re-opened the nomination process for its inaugural Pioneers of Adventure Travel Awards program originally slated for the 2005 Adventure Travel World Summit.

The updated Pioneers of Adventure Travel Awards program is set to debut at the ATTA’s fall 2006 Summit.  Nominations for the 2006 Pioneer awards will be accepted via between February 1 and June 30, 2006.  All 2005 nominations will be included in the 2006 evaluation process.

“Though we received a number of high caliber nominations, our initial call for nominations simply didn’t allow enough time to reach the global adventure travel industry,” said Chris Doyle, ATTA Director, who oversees the Pioneers of Adventure Travel Awards program.  “We are committed to doing the right thing and securing appropriate representation from around the world.  We regret any disappointment the delay in the 2005 Pioneers awards program may have caused.

“Though a difficult decision, we want to ensure the integrity of the program at the outset.  We expect this awards program to grow and expand in prestige to become one of the premier awards program in the adventure travel industry.”

The purpose of the recognition program is to honor past and present pioneers and innovators of new routes and destinations, commercial adventure travel enterprises, responsible tourism practices, innovative partnerships, and groundbreaking consumer education and awareness initiatives in the world of adventure travel.  Pioneers will be acknowledged for having created, challenged in a positive and productive way, protected, evolved and helped to enhance the overall state of the adventure travel industry.

Nominations will be accepted for the following adventure travel categories (asterisks denote new award categories for 2006):

  • Tour Operators (revision for 2006 – only one award will be made in this category)
  • Destination Marketing Organizations (includes tourist boards, tourism ministries)
  • Lodges/Resorts
  • Attractions
  • Adventure Travel Guides/Guide Services
  • Specialty/Adventure Travel Agencies
  • Specialty/Adventure Travel Agents
  • Retailers (Travel, Outdoors, Adventure, etc.)
  • Media/Publishers (print, Internet and broadcast media sources, book publishers)
  • Journalists/Freelance Travel Writers/Guide Book Writers*
  • Manufacturers (e.g., travel and outdoor gear/apparel, cameras, etc.)
  • Service Providers* (e.g., technology, Internet, marketing, PR, insurance, etc.)
All nominations will be reviewed by peer-based judging that includes the ATTA leadership, the ATTA Advisory Board, and the Adventure Travel World Summit Advisory Committee.  For 2006, in addition to selecting first place winners, honorable mention recognitions will be given to the top five finalists within each category.

Judges will evaluate nominees on multiple measures including:  quality of management and leadership; creation of new adventure market niches; industry-galvanizing initiatives; strategic collaboration efforts leading to innovative and lasting partnerships; introduction and advancement of responsible tourism practices (e.g., ecotourism, sustainable tourism, voluntourism, etc.); professional support, mentoring and development of others in the industry; setting of “gold bar” customer service standards; execution of business strategy and on-the-ground operations; and legacies left behind for others in the industry build upon.

Nomination deadlines, processes and presentations are as follows:

  • Feb. 1 – June 30, 2006 – Nominations (including those from 2005) accepted
  • July 1 – 31, 2006 – Nomination processing and administration
  • Aug. 1 – Sept. 30, 2006 – In-depth peer-committee review
  • Oct. 2006 – ATTA announces results on the opening night of the 2006 Summit

All finalists will be recognized by the Adventure Travel Trade Association at the 2006 Adventure Travel World Summit (dates and venue to be announced).  Visit for nomination guidelines and to start the nomination process.  Nominations must be received online no later than 5:00PM PST on June 30, 2006.  Finalists will be announced during the opening ceremony of the 2006 Adventure Travel World Summit (

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

Media Contact:
Chris Doyle, ATTA Director