AdventureNEXT Keynote Addresses Bring Innovation and Creativity to Southeast Europe

16 February 2016

The ATTA’s AdventureNEXT conference this May in Macedonia is simultaneously a showcase of the Balkan region as well as an educational opportunity for anyone in the adventure travel industry. As the program content is revealed, session-by-session, you’ll start to see the how the conference theme “Learn. Partner. Grow.” is woven into every moment of AdventureNEXT.

Early in the conference, travel behavior and consumer trends specialist Milena Nikolova will show AdventureNEXT delegates how to master creativity and on-the-go innovation. Her keynote is titled “Survival Skills for the Future of Tourism: Innovation and Creativity.” She’ll follow that up with a workshop called, “Survival of the Most Creative: Learning to Compete in the Fast-Changing Travel Industry.”


ATTA President Shannon Stowell will also give a keynote, as will Ethna Murphy, an innovator of destination development programs; she’ll share the secrets to creating stand-out signature brands. Paul Easto and Myles Farnbank of Wilderness Scotland will deliver a keynote together – a thought-provoking look at what will take a customer experience to the next level. The final keynote speaker in the line-up is Kamelia Georgieva, of the Greater Balkans, who will lead the audience through an exploration of the history of tourism in Southeastern Europe and give the promise of a compelling future for the region.

Complementing the keynote addresses are a series of concurrent sessions aimed at servicing the specific needs and interests of the core groups of delegates: regional suppliers, international buyers and media, and governmental and development agency representatives. The final schedule for the entire conference will be released in a few weeks. In the meantime, descriptions of concurrent sessions are available on the AdventureNEXT website.

“Delivering the right balance of inspirational and educational content for this event is key,” says ATTA Executive Director Chris Doyle. “Drawing from local, regional and international experts, the content for AdventureNEXT should help delegates escape their day-to-day office struggles and fill their minds with new possibilities. Our hope is that each attendee will leave with a deeper grasp on the greater tourism ecosystem and their place in it, and return with useful tools they can employ immediately back at the office.”


As with all ATTA events, in between sessions at AdventureNEXT delegates will have the chance to interact and connect with new business partners and colleagues – everyone sharing a profound interest in the Southeastern European region as an adventure destination. This will happen during meals and coffee breaks, but also during more structured opportunities:

  • Business-to-Business Marketplace, where international operators and media make valuable connections with destination representatives and top local service providers;
  • MediaConnect, where writers, bloggers, photographers and editors share best practices and approaches for realizing powerful media results and high-profile adventure coverage; and,
  • Peer-to-Peer scheduled periods, where delegates can connect with like-minded professionals for one-on-one engagement.
More than half of the Marketplace tables are reserved by companies representing Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia:
Delegates will be able to request meetings with suppliers at Marketplace through the AdventureNEXT app, coming soon.

In addition to the announced partnerships between Croatia National Tourism Board and Visit Meteora DMC, Bulgaria, represented by Odysseia In, has just joined as the most recent Destination Showcase Partner.