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The second AdventureNEXT Near East, being held in Jordan, 7-9 May 2018, will focus on nurturing and strengthening professional relationships and potential partnerships, a concept encapsulated in the event’s theme Empowering Connections. During the inaugural AdventureNEXT Near East event held in 2017 in Jordan — the first of its kind in the region — regional and international buyers, sellers, destination representatives, and media came together to explore opportunities for regional development. That event was a catalyst, revealing new pathways for adventure tourism in the region, sparking new ideas, and opening the door for business relationships. The May event’s newly released agenda builds on the momentum seeded in 2017, fueling ongoing growth in the region and more opportunities to deepen connections created over the past year among professionals with a vested interest in tourism in the Near East region.
“Empowering Connections speaks to the region’s rich tradition of hospitality and the strength that comes to our businesses and personal lives from strong relationships,” said Alice Gifford, the ATTA’s events content manager. “Empowering Connections is a call to action to extend trust and empower the connections you are making — to take risks, and build your business through these connections. This year’s theme also underscores that connections are empowering — through our connections we are powerful, we have greater reach, and we have greater knowledge of trends, consumers, perspective.”
Three plenaries at AdventureNEXT Near East highlight the overarching importance of how humans across the planet connect with each other and how their relationships can have ripple effects beyond the adventure travel profession. During Empowering Connections: Human Diversity and the Path to Success, renowned storyteller Leon McCarron will share the lessons he learned and insights he gained walking 1,000 miles from Jerusalem to the Sinai Peninsula. CEO of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Shannon Stowell, will take McCarron’s message of awareness, understanding, and cooperation a step further during his address, Adventure Travel: A Catalyst for Change, in which he will elaborate on the opportunities tourism — a $2.3 trillion USD industry — has to shift attitudes and change behaviors of people worldwide. In Empowering Connections: Lessons From the Sea, Tracy Edwards, captain of the first all-female crew in the Whitbread Round the World yachting event, will offer a more personal, ground-level perspective on the importance of teamwork, trust, and empowering others to act.
During Offering Irresistible Near East Experiences for Today’s Adventure Traveler, delegates will take a deep dive into the psychology of adventure travelers to better understand motivation in order to develop and present appropriate marketing content, offers, and pricing. Additionally, delegates will carry these insights through to product development and experience design, allowing established tour operators to push their offerings to the next level. The interactive workshop Overcoming Regional Stereotypes With Product Design, Marketing, and Sales will consider specific challenges regional tour operators working in the Near East face and how they can be overcome while keeping traveler motivations and behaviors at the forefront.
Content creation and connecting with potential guests continues to be a hot topic and is the focus of two professional workshops as well. In Content Marketing for Adventure Travel Operators, adventure travel companies at the beginning stages of content marketing will walk through the process of building an effective strategy to capture potential customers. And in Be a Storybuilder – Influence Your Customer Through Storytelling, advanced businesses will dissect examples of excellent storytelling told through a variety of media and learn how to create emotional responses, develop characters, and build brand identity into their own stories.
The conversation about long-term, responsible strategies also remains a popular conversation at ATTA events. At AdventureNEXT Near East, professionals at any level of the supply chain are invited to participate in A Toolkit For Sustainable Tourism, which guides delegates through an engaging exercise with practical solutions while embracing key principles of sustainable tourism.
View the full AdventureNEXT Near East agenda online for more details.
In addition to the educational workshops, connections and networking opportunities abound at the event during informal networking breaks and structured pre-scheduled Marketplace appointments. This popular event feature is designed for meaningful interaction between buyers, suppliers, editorial media, and destination partners. Marketplace tables for inbound suppliers are extremely limited, and the agenda is set for nearly twice as many meeting times as in 2017.
The international delegation of tour operator buyers for AdventureNEXT Near East is currently being finalized and features an impressive roster of outbound operators from throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and Latin America, who are attending to develop new adventure itineraries in Jordan and meet with new potential partners from the entire Near East region.
Companies with a vested interest in tourism to the Near East region are encouraged to learn more and register today.