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At the beginning of June 2015, Kosovo hosted the first of a series of AdventureEDU training programs. The two-day training covered level one of ATTA‘s Business Management and Operational Excellence workshops. The training was initiated and supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) EMPOWER and REG (Regional Economic Growth) Projects, as well as the Swiss-funded Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) Project.
ATTA’s AdventureEDU program is developed to meet destinations’ readiness and desire to pursue the path of responsible travel, and by securing instructors directly from the industry, we aim to provide the “shortcuts” of do’s and dont’s in Adventure Travel. Around fifty participants from Kosovo, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Macedonia participated, and were gaining knowledge from Jean-Claude Razel (founder of Alaya Expedições, Brazil) and Gordon Janow (founding member of Alpine Ascents, U.S.).
In 2016, AdventureNEXT Balkans will take tourism in this region to the next level
“The event exceeded my expectations and though not inexpensive, it was money well spent. I was really impressed with the quality of the presenters, Jean-Claude and Gordon – their practical expertise really made the difference and this was evident in participant reactions. I have been through or sponsored a lot of training in development over the years, and this was one of the best. We are looking forward to the next installment.” David T. King, Ph.D., Chief of Party, USAID Kosovo EMPOWER Private Sector Project.
The practical lessons learned in Business Management included building a business model for a ground supplier in the Adventure Travel industry, how to create and evaluate the sales structure for an Adventure Travel company and to calculate EBITDA, gross profit and net profit for the company, and how to validate the trip prices and overall tips for practicing sustainable tourism. Some of the take-aways from the Operational Excellence course included pitching tips, how to up-sell and stretch your marketing budget, and how to nurture relationships and handle legal topics such as contracts and cancellation policies.
“The two-day training organized by ATTA and USAID Empower project Kosovo, through which we received Adventure EDU training was incredibly helpful. Jean Claude Razel and Gordon Janow provided some of the best learned lessons out of this training. Their information was very practical and this, to me, is the most important information we can receive … info that can immediately be used in the field. These practicalities included:
- Great training format – future model for any company or individual that provides trainings.
- Clear picture of the tourism industry structure
- Communication, pricing, package building, contract closing, financial planning, and operational management were things that absolutely added value to me personally as well to attendees.
- Last and best lesson learned was about building long, stable, and fruitful partnerships.”
– Alban RAFUNA, CEO, Be in Kosovo – Tourism & Consulting
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