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(SEATTLE) – Headliners for the 2007 Adventure Travel World Summit include: the CEO of the United States’ newest air carrier, the developer of the world’s only hybrid rocket motors used for human spaceflight, a futurist who’s one of the world’s most respected practitioners of the science of man, a nationally syndicated adventure/exploration television show host, the president of the original ‘voluntourism’ adventure tour operation, and the tourism minister of the autonomous northern Iraqi region of Kurdistan.
Joining more than 40 speakers who are adventure travel pioneers and experts from five continents, the Summit’s keynote presenters represent diverse disciplines and are set to address approximately 500 adventure travel business leaders converging in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, for the third annual, trade only, Adventure Travel World Summit. Hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the Summit will be held October 4-7, 2007.
Future consumers, purposeful-travel trends, and leading-edge destinations headline, while strategic insights, best business practices and practical tools sessions complete the 2007 Adventure Travel World Summit. Themed, “Conversion: Transforming Possibility into Reality,” Summit keynoters will provide a valuable array of perspectives aimed at challenging conventions of the global adventure travel community:
- Nimrud Baito: Kurdistan’s Tourism Minister and elected general secretary for the Assyrian Patriotic Party in 2006, Mr. Baito represents the Autonomous Region of Kurdistan. During his early involvement in the APP, his activism on behalf of the Assyrians landed him in charge of Assyrian student’s activities and the Assyrian Culture Club in Baghdad, and saw him arrested twice by the Department of the State Security in 1978-1979. He spent 10 years as an IT specialist with Hewlett Packard, and now spends energy on adventure tourism development in his country.
- Jim Benson: Founder, chairman and president of Benson Space Company (BSC), Benson led SpaceDev, a publicly traded space company specializing in affordable, high-performance small satellites; safe, affordable hybrid-based propulsion systems; and space mechanisms. SpaceDev developed the CHIPSat microsatellite for NASA, the rocket motors for Paul Allen’s SpaceShipOne, and has successfully flown 2,000 mechanisms on over 200 missions. Benson also founded the non-profit Space Development Institute, and is a founding Board member of the Personal Spaceflight Federation.
- Thornton May – Chronicler of the frequently pre-hysteric tribal behaviors of urban cave dwellers as they try to come to grips with an over-connected, over-caffeinated, over-accelerated, over-teched, and under-adventured world, Thornton – the highest rated speaker at the ATTA’s 2005 Adventure Travel World Summit – is a trusted advisor assisting organizations as diverse as Toyota, Mattel, Cisco Systems, Burlington Northern Railroad, the FBI, the World Bank, Motorola, General Electric and Dreamworks S.K.G. to figure out ‘what comes after what comes next’. Thornton’s myriad futuristic ‘observations’ have appeared in the Harvard Business Review, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, the M.I.T. Sloan Management Review, and American Demographics.
- Fred Reid: He’s held executive roles with four of the world’s biggest airlines over three decades. Twenty-five years of airline management experience has landed Reid at the helm of Virgin America. As CEO of the U.S. start-up airline Virgin America, his fifth airline where he’s played the leading role, Reid has the rare privilege of starting with a clean canvas to create a fresh and consumer-driven new airline. Among his recent achievements as President of Delta, he oversaw the creation of the airline’s low-fare Song branded airline, and headed Delta Connection, the world’s largest fleet of regional jets.
- Richard Wiese: As Explorer-in-Residence at the American Museum of Natural History, Richard developed for AMNH Expeditions, the museum’s educational travel program, a new series of adventure trips, called the “AMNH Explorers Series”, premiering in 2008. In 2002, he became the youngest president in The Explorers Club’s hundred-year history. Weise currently hosts a nationally syndicated television show, Exploration with Richard Wiese, which can be viewed in over 200 cities across the United States. As an explorer, he’s traveled to all continents, tagged jaguars in the Yucatan jungles, captured crocodiles and handled venomous snakes in Australia, participated in medical research on Mt. Everest, achieved the first ascent of an unclimbed mountain in Alaska, discovered 29 new life forms on Mt. Kilimanjaro, and skied to the North Pole.
- Edward Wilson: President and CEO of Earthwatch Institute, he brings more than 15 years international management experience in the non-profit sector as well as hands-on experience in conservation and research expeditions. He’s a graduate of Kings College London, where he majored in geography, specializing in African Studies and Third World Development. After serving as a British Army officer, he began his career with Earthwatch in 1993. A Royal Geographic Society Fellow, and a participant on several Earthwatch research expeditions, most recently to Central Asia and Inner Mongolia, he’s lived in Pakistan, Hong Kong, and has traveled extensively in Africa. He’s also worked for nature reserves and eco-tourism operations in Southern and East Africa.
Other notables from among the more than 40 experts presenting at the summit include:
- Erik Blachford, CEO, TerraPass (former CEO of Expedia)
- Eric Brodnax, Vice President, Orbitz Worldwide and General Manager, Away.com & Outside Online
- Kristin Lamoureux, Director, International Institute of Tourism Studies, The George Washington University
- Alicia Stevens, Director, AMNH Expeditions, Senior Advisor, International Business Development, American Museum of Natural History
- Dawa Steven Sherpa, Everest Summiteer, Asian-Trekking
- Veronica Stoddart, Deputy Managing Editor, Travel, USA Today
- Leslie Weeden, Travel Director, Outside Magazine
- Ian Cross, Pilot Film & Television Productions (producer of GlobeTrekker)
Keynote addresses and session forums, workshops, panels and roundtables are designed to equip delegates with tools to convert lookers into buyers and customers into advocates, better their business, enable the industry to better serve travelers, promote responsible adventure tourism, and optimize the industry’s market potential through productive debate, dialogue and collaboration. Sessions, intended for industry executives and decision makers within the travel and tourism industry, are designed to elicit summit delegate interaction with expert presenters and to enable participants to voice opinions and pose provocative questions for industry-wide discussion.
Key sponsors of the Adventure Travel World Summit include: Adventure Central, Alpine Tourism Commission, Best of the Alps, Brazil Tourism, Canadian Tourism Commission, ExOfficio, National Geographic Adventure, and Innovation Norway. Supporting sponsors include Adventures in Travel Expo, Away.com, .travel, and Virtuoso. Contributing sponsors include Archaeology, Discover and Outside Magazines, Ecuador and Eagle Creek.
Online registration is accessible at www.adventuretravelworldsummit.com. Registration Fees are $790.00 U.S. for ATTA Members and $990.00 for non-members.
The Seattle-based Adventure Travel Trade Association is a strategic membership organization dedicated to raising the profile of adventure travel globally. Established in 1990, the ATTA provides services, knowledge, and connections that help its members succeed in their businesses and contribute to responsible industry growth.