Asia Regional News: A New Year and New Focus on Asia

20 February 2022
A Message from Dr. Jacob Finnifrock for the ATTA Community in Asia

It has been a pleasure to serve as the Regional Director of Asia for the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) over the last five years. I learned so much from all of you and have grown in my understanding of Adventure Travel in Asia during the process. The experiences gained through travel in India, China, Japan, and other parts of South and Southeast Asia have been rich and rewarding. I hope that my efforts to learn about, connect with, and represent the region have contributed to the development of meaningful, beneficial, and sustainable adventure travel. As a result of COVID-19 and some unforeseen opportunities that have arisen for me personally, I have decided to step down from the Regional Director of Asia role and transition to a different industry, though I will continue to serve ATTA in an advisory capacity.

The ATTA cares considerably about making travel a force for good and will continue in good hands with our incoming Regional Director, Hannah Pearson. Please welcome her with open arms as she makes ATTA known and relevant in Asia in the post-covid era. Until we meet again, be well.

Dr. Jacob (Jake) Finifrock

A New Year and New Focus on Asia

Hannah Pearson, ATTA's Regional Director, Asia

As the recently appointed Regional Director for Asia with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), I am excited to get started in my new role, build on the excellent foundations Dr. Jacob (Jake) Finifrock has put into place already, and connect with ATTA members and partners in Asia. 

Originally from the UK, I have been based in Southeast Asia for the past 10 years, and currently live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I’m lucky enough to have experienced many sides of the travel industry here, from startups to travel agents, sales repping to account management. When not working, I love trail running in the amazing landscapes Southeast Asia benefits from.

I passionately believe in the key role which adventure travel will play in rebuilding tourism in Asia and look forward to getting to know you on that journey. With the onset of the pandemic, we have seen tourism boards shift the conversation towards a more sustainable vision of tourism, with a focus on niche tourists, rather than mass market. 

Asian consumers’ travel preferences have changed, too, as more travelers have rediscovered the benefits - both mentally and physically - of enjoying the outdoors. A recent YouGov study of APAC travelers shows that adventure and responsible travelers are growing in number and that adventure travelers will be one of the first to restart international travels. This is positive news for our members and the ATTA itself. 

In other Asia news, you may know that the ATTA offers online education courses on a range of topics, but recently, the courses were translated to Bahasa Indonesia with Impact Adventures, ATTA’s partner on the ground in Indonesia. I invite you to read about Adventure School in Indonesia and view the latest companion courses Sales Funnels and High-Converting Websites

Inspired by From Guides to CEOs, Women in Adventure Travel are on the Rise, ATTA Media Member Haybina Hao wrote an article for a book by IMTA (International Mountain Tourism Alliance) which focuses on mountain tourism recovery. Haybina's article features six women CEOs including ATTA members BikeHike Adventures, Fernweh Fair Travel, and Active Albania. For more on women in travel, don't miss our upcoming research report and webinar Research Insights on Women in Adventure Travel.

Speaking of reports, since our last Asia newsletter, the ATTA has released two useful free reports, one on Technology in Adventure Travel and another is a Guide for Small Businesses on the subject of climate action. You can also find both reports in ATTA’s research library

Let's welcome tour newest members in Asia. BuffyFish Holidays, Wow India Travel and Tours, and Local Roots are joining us from India; Loikaw Lodge by the Lake from Myanmar, and Apex Asia Holiday and Exodus Himalayan Adventures from Nepal. ATTA Business and Professional members are invited to join our monthly Member Connects to learn how you can make the most of your ATTA membership and network with other members. Our next Member Connect will be hosted by Asia Community Lead, Miya Liu, on 10 March 2022 at 2 pm UTC+9  / 1 pm UTC+8.

I hope you will consider joining us this year at AdventureELEVATE in Eugene, Oregon in May and Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in Lugano, Switzerland in October. If you cannot join us this year, please mark your calendars for ATWS 2023 in Japan, 11-14 September 2023! We are thrilled to Announce the 2023 Adventure Travel World Summit Will Be Held in Japan after Summit moved to a virtual experience last year. 

Please reach out if you have any questions or would like to connect. I have included contact information below along with an introduction to our core Asia team if you haven’t met them already, Nenna Salokangas and Miya Liu. 

Lastly, with the new Lunar New Year just passed, I wish all in the ATTA community who celebrate a joyous and lucky Year of the Tiger! 

ATTA Asia Team

  • Hannah Pearson, Regional Director
  • Nenna Salokangas, Partner Coordinator
  • Miya Liu, Community Lead

ATTA Asia Ambassadors

  • Fan Na, Perspective China, China
  • Dameon Takada, Tsuruga Resorts, Japan
  • Ken Takada, Japan Adventure Tourism Association, Japan
  • Rajesh Ojha, Banjara Camp & Retreats, India
  • Poonam Rawat-Hahne, Fernweh Fair Travel-Uplifting Communities, India
  • Vishwas Makhija, India Insight Tours, India
  • Pawan Tuladhar, Dharma Adventures, Nepal