After 14 years of empowering the adventure travel industry globally as a membership, events, and business services company, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) announced today it will divide the organization into two divisions. One division will focus on the continued growth and mission of the membership and trade organization while the second division will continue to build dynamic and focused events for the adventure travel industry and deliver creative strategic services and products for destinations and brands.
The decision to split the company allows both divisions to focus their strategies on being a force for good within the industry, one through a deep focus on membership and trade issues and the other with an eye towards strategic, sustainable adventure travel growth.
As part of this business restructure, current president and owner Mr. Shannon Stowell moves into the role of CEO while ATTA vice president of marketing and communications, Ms. Casey Hanisko, is promoted to president of the business service division. Hanisko, with 20 years of experience in the travel industry, has been a leader in the strategic growth of the ATTA during her five-year tenure. Key to her role as vice president of marketing and communications position has been the development of products, partnerships, and marketing solutions that promote the business of adventure and support economic growth of communities developing adventure travel in their destinations.
Leading the membership and trade organization as president is Mr. Luis Vargas. Vargas comes to the ATTA with executive experience from several adventure travel industry companies including The Clymb, Disney, and REI, among others. As a recent ATTA advisory board member, active ATTA community member, and ATTA event emcee, Vargas is well-placed to lead the adventure travel trade community.
“Casey’s talent as an executive paired with her deep history in the adventure travel space make her the ideal person to oversee the day-to-day operation of our business. For 14 years we’ve moved from strength to strength, and I view her as supremely qualified to take the business side of the organization forward in our capacity and opportunity depth,” Stowell said. “And Luis is truly a perfect person to take the trade organization and membership vision and move it into the future. He’s a visionary and seasoned pro in a variety of related businesses, and has been advising us for years, plus the community already knows and loves Luis from his visible roles with the ATTA. I can’t imagine two better people to oversee the evolutions and revolutions of our beloved industry organization!”
Over the past few years, the organization has increased its number and type of events, worked more closely with new destinations in developing adventure tourism, and expanded its research partnerships. More concentrated focus within these two divisions of the ATTA will help increase and expand these opportunities even more, resulting in an enhanced experience for members and within the industry as a whole.
“Our partners and community around the globe will benefit from this restructure as it allows the ATTA to maximize and expand our current successful events and continue to create and deliver business solutions that are activating positive travel industry progress today,” Hanisko said.
Even as the organization splits and Hanisko and Vargas begin focusing on their specific roles, members can expect to see both leaders participating in ATTA events and remaining engaged with the growing membership. “It is a vitally important time to continue to convene, grow, and empower a diverse set of stakeholders across the global travel industry community. We have both the opportunity and responsibility to be meaningful voices in the strategies and actions that will shape the health of business, industry, people, and places,” Vargas said.
During this transition, Mr. Jason Reckers will be moving from managing director of the ATTA to chief operating officer (COO). Reckers has been with the ATTA since 2005. As COO, he will strongly support the two divisions’ operating needs.
The membership and trade organization and business services division will be integrated closely and continue to work with current partners and members.