Following a successful inaugural adventure travel industry event in Jordan, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) will host AdventureNEXT Near East in Jordan 7-9 May 2018. In May 2017, 250 buyers, suppliers, and international media attended the event. Additional regional support is expected in 2018.
“The inaugural event in 2017 was like planting a seed, and there is so much more work to be done to empower Near East destinations as they increase adventure offerings — both new itineraries and timeless experiences — while helping local communities preserve their cultural traditions and natural resources,” said Manal Kelig, the ATTA’s executive director, Middle East and North Africa. “Based on feedback from local participants and enthusiasm from delegates who attended AdventureNEXT Near East, there were not only requests but also an expectation for another event to be held in the region.”
The just-announced AdventureNEXT Near East theme for 2018, Empowering Connections, speaks to the region’s rich sense of hospitality. “The number one thing people say when they come back from Jordan is that it’s always about the people,” Kelig said. “They talk about the people before they talk about Petra or any of the region’s other incredible natural features.”
Underscoring the idea of creating connections, in 2018 there will be twice the number of meetings during the popular networking event, the Marketplace, where delegates can meet with potential partners at two dozen pre-scheduled meetings over the course of two days. “Building on the energy and success of this event’s first year, we anticipate even stronger engagement in 2018, which fits well with the theme, Empowering Connections,” said Shannon Stowell, president of the ATTA. “Tourism is a very human business and we believe that success will come from these strong industry connections.”
Last May, AdventureNEXT Near East delegates were introduced to Jordan’s generous local communities and adventure travel appeal during pre-event trips that included off-the-grid accommodations, an opportunity to learn about regional food and traditions, and new ways to experience popular tourist attractions such as Petra. During AdventureNEXT Near East, which attracted the Jordanian Prime Minister’s attention, delegates from 22 countries attended educational sessions and interacted with local tour and accommodation providers in Marketplace meetings. “This was such a rich, rich learning experience, and I am looking forward to Jordan hosting AdventureNEXT Near East next year,” said HRH Princess Dana Firas of Jordan. “I’m also hoping to see much more regional representation because it really has been very interesting to the development of the tourist product moving forward.”
The 2018 event will again be held at the Kempinski Hotel Ishtar on the shores of the Dead Sea. “We welcome all our dear friends and delegates to AdventureNEXT Near East, due to take place in Jordan next year,” said HE Lina Annab, Minister of Tourism & Antiquities in Jordan. “We look forward to receiving you and welcoming you. We are sure you will have a great time at the conference and in the beautiful country of Jordan.”
Online registration is now open for those who would like to attend the event and be a part of the Marketplace. Media applications are now available as well.