It has been almost three months since I joined the ATTA as regional director Asia, and what a three months those have been for the tourism industry in general! More countries have chosen to throw open their doors to international travelers, streamline entry requirements, and put adventure tourism as a key pillar of their tourism recovery strategy.
Finally, tourism stakeholders such as yourselves in many parts of the region are starting to see tourists once more, and feel that flame of optimism once more. Of course, there are some major markets that remain closed - China and Japan being among them, and I appreciate how difficult it must be for our members in those countries to see others opening up, whilst they are still struggling for survival.
An encouraging report for Asian ATTA members, released by American Express Travel, the 2022 Global Travel Trends Report, highlighted that Asia comes narrowly behind North America, as the region of choice for a once-in-a-lifetime trip in 2022. Of those who are dreaming of Asia, 25% want to visit Japan, 18% India, and 10% Thailand. Adventure activities were a popular choice: 40% want to visit national parks, 34% outdoor activities and 78% want a positive impact on the community they are visiting.
Having spent the last few months learning more about the ATTA from our partners, members and the ATTA team itself, I am close to finalizing our 2022 ATTA strategy for Asia.
Three areas which we will focus on are: ramping up to the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) in Hokkaido in September 2023, engaging with you, our members, to support your tourism recovery through maximizing your membership with the ATTA (don’t forget that you can submit press releases for publication on AdventureTravelNews and Adventure.Travel websites), and growing awareness of the ATTA in the region, to help ensure that adventure travel is on the tourism agenda regionwide.
I want to give a warm welcome to our newest member to join ATTA from Asia, Unwild Planet, a tour operator based out of India, focusing on exploration, accessible remoteness, and transformational journeys.
As always, 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. Our next Member Connect will be hosted by Asia Community Lead, Miya Liu, on 13 July 2022 at 14:00 pm UTC+9 / 13:00 pm UTC+8. Members are also encouraged to learn about ATTA’s new partnership with Travelife for Tour Operators and the online training and practical tools for sustainability management and certification available to ATTA Business and Professional members as part of the partnership.
I also want to highlight a webinar we are running on Indigenous and Community-based Tourism: Challenges and Opportunities on 28 April at 10.30 am India / 1 pm Singapore/2 pm Tokyo time.
With industry experts including Tourism Australia, WINTA (New Zealand), and Indigenous Kokoda Adventures (Papua New Guinea), we will showcase best practices from indigenous leaders operating in Australia and Papua New Guinea, as well as lessons learned from a collaborative approach, which I am sure will resonate with many of you across the Asian region, too. Do come and be inspired!
Lastly, I hope to speak to as many of you as possible over the coming months - and of course, please reach out to me with ideas, support you need, or feedback you may have.