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ATTA Adventure Travel World Summit-South America Sells Out, Sets Attendance Records

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(SEATTLE) – September 9, 2008 – The first of two 2008 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) events organized by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) set event attendance records with more than 700 representatives from 33 countries participating in the sold-out, September 3-7 event in São Paulo, Brazil. The Summit was its first ever outside of North America.
     More than a show of numbers and a reflection of growing sector interest, industry progress was made on multiple fronts. At the ATWS-South America, leaders: introduced the Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI) which supports responsible and sustainable development of emerging adventure travel destinations worldwide; heightened awareness of accessibility issues for handicapped adventure travelers and for community-based tourism initiatives; and increased industry attention to safety management and guide training to improve the professionalism of operators worldwide. Additionally, an immediate outcome of the South American gathering was the formation of a new Spanish and Portuguese speaking network of adventure and eco-travel trade associations which will collaborate to heighten the global profile of adventure travel in South and Central America. The initiative is expected to serve as a continental model to more fully network the adventure travel trade worldwide.
     Luis Baretto, Brazil’s Minister of Tourism, was among the featured speakers at the opening ceremony on Thursday, along with ATTA President Shannon Stowell and ABETA (Brazil Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association) President Israel Waligora. During his opening remarks, Minister Baretto said, “This is the beginning of a new phase in Brazilian tourism and the Adventure Travel World Summit has contributed to this phase. Our adventure travel tourism will greatly benefit from the collaboration between tour operators, international media, and global tourism boards.”
     Building off the success of its ATWS-South America, the ATTA continues its 2008 networking initiatives with the introduction of its Adventure Travel World Summit-Europe to Norway, October 21-25. Already, representatives from 25 countries are registered for the conference in Norway, an event designed specifically to strengthen North American, European and African business-to-business relationships, while further professionalizing the specialty niche and setting bearing points for businesses to pursue responsible and sustainable growth.
     In 2005, the ATTA introduced the ATWS, an executive level gathering of leaders representing the sustainable growth interests of the global adventure travel community. Since then, the Adventure Travel World Summit has become the travel industry’s largest conference specializing in adventure tourism which includes physical, cultural and nature-based travel.
     ATTA Summit events continue to attract influential business leaders. For last week’s ATWS-South America, featured speakers included Brazil’s minister of tourism, one of Fortune Magazine’s “Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the World”, and the co-author of “Authenticity,” a book which Time Magazine recently named as one of the “10 Ideas That Are Changing the World”.
     Representatives from international conservation organizations, major media outlets, educational institutions, and travel agencies are the primary participants in the ATTA’s executive conferences. ATTA’s Summit conference sessions are geared toward giving market professionals tools to grow and improve their businesses, promoting and professionalizing adventure travel worldwide, and increasing business-to-business networking and collaboration. In addition, the Summits address regional business needs and discuss cultural and environmental sustainability issues impacting the world today.
     Major Sponsors of both 2008 Adventure Travel World Summits include: Brazil Tourism, ExOfficio travel clothing, Innovation Norway, Men’s Journal magazine, and W.L. Gore and Associates. Key Sponsors include Adventure Central, Alpine Tourist Commission, Best of the Alps, Chile, National Geographic Adventure.
Adventure Travel World Summit-Europe information is available at
     Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA ( is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market worldwide. ATTA Members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, travel agents/agencies, guides, lodges/resorts/attractions, media, and service providers. Host of the Adventure Travel World Summits, the ATTA provides professional support, development, education, research, marketing, career building, networking and cost saving resources to its members.

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