Bringing “Sister” Industries Together

4 February 2020

As trends of the last several years have shown, people are increasingly planning treks, floats, rides and tours in every corner of the world — and specific equipment needs are almost always an integral part of adventure travel. Whether working from a suggested or required gear and apparel list provided by a tour operator, or from years of having “been there” themselves, green adventurers and seasoned ones alike often find themselves needing gear for their trip. With this organic relationship between the adventure travel and outdoor equipment and apparel in mind, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is excited to announce its second installment of the Gear Trail at an ATTA event, this time at  AdventureELEVATE 2020, in Eugene, Oregon, 5-7 May.

Delegates and gear suppliers get to know each other at the first annual Gear Trail, ATWS 2019, Gothenburg, Sweden. © Hassen Salum

Building on the buzz of the inaugural Gear Trail at Adventure Travel World Summit 2019 in Gothenburg, Sweden, AdventureELEVATE in Eugene will offer an opportunity for adventure-travel-oriented manufacturers to connect with travel specialists and tour operators—people who provide equipment to their employees, maintain fleet equipment for rental or lending to clients, are asked for equipment guidance by clients, or who even provide equipment directly to their travelers. In its new study, The State of Gear Purchasing in the Adventure Travel Industry, the ATTA found that 96% of tour operators surveyed purchase gear for their operations, and that there is a strong desire from gear suppliers to collaborate with adventure tour operators. Conversely, nearly all of the operator respondents to the survey said they were very interested in helping to test and develop products that related directly to the adventure travel or outdoor industries. This type of collaboration could lead to products being developed in a targeted manner for specific activities, operators or travelers themselves, and to a better understanding of how best to serve the dynamic, diverse and growing adventure travel community.

“At more than a dozen meetings at ISPO Munich, the world’s largest sports and outdoors exhibition, most gear and apparel brands indicated that adventure travel is one of the ‘hottest’ segments of interest,” said Chris Doyle, ATTA Special Advisor, Global Development, who has just returned from the event. “Gear and apparel company decision makers consistently asked to be involved in the ATTA pro-deal program; to help connect the brands with ATTA members interested in earning commissions on affiliate sales programs relating to quality gear recommendations for travelers; and (a surprising twist) they asked to secure ATTA Member digital content about how the outdoor brands’ loyal customers could become more responsible travelers — a solid development that can help adventure travel companies reach new audiences.” (If you're an ATTA member interested in the possibility of submitting digital content for this use, please contact Chris Doyle to discuss at [email protected]).

By helping to connect these two “sister” industries — both of which are focusing heavily on sustainability and innovation — the ATTA hopes to see develop a mutual enrichment of both the travel and outdoor communities. If you’re planning to attend the AdventureELEVATE event this year, make some stops along the Gear Trail and see how our friends in the outdoor equipment and apparel industry may partner with and support your operation as demand for adventure continues to expand.