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ATTA’s Chris Doyle, Executive Director of Europe and Ulrika Larsson, Member Advocate-Europe, have just returned from the ISPO Show, which they attended to generate awareness and understanding of the mutual benefits of connecting the European outdoor gear/apparel manufacturers with the global adventure tourism community.
Doyle said, “The fervor on the show floor was hard to deny: from outdoor and adventure apparel and headlamps to trekking, winter sports and action sports gear, the 16 halls of exhibitors dedicated to action sports, outdoor, skiing, health and fitness and sourcing seemed to be pulsing. No exaggeration. Most booths were teeming with action.”
The two were aided, in part, by long-time partners, the Scandinavian Outdoor Group (SOG), which helped to provide introductions on the ATTA’s behalf. Both engaged in ISPO, the largest sport and outdoor show in the world, to establish new relationships with European brands that were likely to become solid partners in the adventure travel industry. This trade show takes place annually in Munich, Germany, in January, and plays a very important role in the whole outdoor and sports industry – it is the European equivalent to Outdoor Retailer Summer (and Winter) Market in the U.S. Though many U.S. brands also exhibit at ISPO, the focus is on European-based companies.
In its effort to grow the value of its membership benefits in Europe, and to continue building its adventure/nature tourism network throughout the continent, the ATTA explored ideas with specific brands regarding pro-deal programs for outfitters and guides, commercial discounts for “fleet” purchases, cooperative marketing campaigns between destinations, tour operators and apparel/gear manufacturers and joint storytelling and social media efforts.
Of the dozen or so brands meeting with the ATTA, many seem intrigued, ranged moderate to very little understanding of the global adventure tourism market, were interested in cracking the North American market in particular – most indicating that European brands within the U.S. created levels of complexity in distribution that actually de-incentivized growth – and were very interested in getting involved in a pro-deal program for the adventure tourism industry, so long as it were easy and did not become a negotiated price program.
Next steps for the ATTA include crafting a simple agreement with the outdoor gear and apparel brands for a pro-deal and commercial discount program to be made available to European adventure travel providers – a program similar to what is currently offered within the U.S. The Europe based team will also continue assisting European brands – many of which expressed interest in joining the ATTA as members. Tapping into the research and connections offered within the ATTA’s HUB is an easy step many said they were ready to do. Then, after better understanding the adventure tourism market, they seek to explore ways in which they can get their product in the hands of the right outfitters and guides providing adventure activities that rely on their gear.
Inspiring meetings with top quality outdoor gear brands made for a very effective first visit to the show. The outcome for the ATTA is that new brands are expected to join as members, and the global adventure tourism community can soon expect to be even more tightly connected to the brands used by the millions of adventure travelers served by the 700-plus tour operators within the ATTA network.