The Adventure Travel Trade Association has announced the first set of keynote speakers and plenary sessions for the Adventure Travel World Summit, being held 16-19 October 2017 in Salta, Argentina. These speakers support the Summit’s theme of Unite. Protect. Lead., drawn from the spirit and energy of Salta’s historic gauchos, the army that successfully defended Argentina’s northern border in its fight for independence.
“Never before has the management of resources and extension of our industry’s values been more important. We are seeing an increasing number of travelers, and, in many places, a weakening commitment from governments, buckling under the increasing pressure to solve complex economic problems,” said Shannon Stowell, president of the ATTA. “The theme and speakers for this year’s Adventure Travel World Summit underscore the need for those working in adventure travel to come together and discuss these critical issues.”
Sally McCoy will headline a plenary presentation titled Courageous Leadership: Adventure’s Key to Success. A former CEO of Camelback and Sierra Designs, vice president at The North Face, and founding member of the Conservation Alliance, McCoy will share the no-nonsense, authentic, and compassionate approach to leadership that has enabled her to deliver impressive financial gains in the companies she has led. She will also offer insight into how leaders can establish the sort of workplace cultures that breed leaders capable of guiding these companies successfully into the future.
Complementing McCoy’s all-business presentation will be Daniel Fox, a speaker with a slightly different perspective on leadership. A lifelong explorer and storyteller, Fox will offer a meditative conclusion to the Summit with his presentation Stop, Breathe, Relax, Listen, and Experience. It is designed to provide a path for delegates to see the world from a new perspective using nature as a mentor, mindset, and incredible source of profound experiences. His creative presentation – sometimes philosophical, sometimes poetic – is told through stories, photos, and videos, engaging delegates through all their senses.
In the Innovative Protectors, Scaling Conservation session, delegates will hear from a select group of pioneering leaders working to extend conservation around the world. Joining the group will be Sofia Heinonen, director of The Conservation Land Trust, Tompkins Conservation, in Argentina, who has worked tirelessly to win the support of local communities while pursuing a progressive jaguar rewilding initiative in Argentina. Her work – both scientific and in terms of mobilizing popular support for conservation – offers important lessons for the adventure community in understanding how to blend conservation and business goals. This session will be introduced by Steve Barker and Soraya Shattuck, the leaders of the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund, a groundbreaking adventure industry nonprofit that provides funding, connections, and an international spotlight on projects protecting the cultural and natural resources underpinning the travel and outdoor recreation industries.
While the ATWS lineup of keynote speakers promises to drive home the importance of uniting, protecting, and leading in creative and inspiring ways, this year’s Summit will also offer a few surprises to remind attendees to re-engage with the emotional soul of adventure. This is the heart of the business and underscores the reasons people are drawn to this travel style in the first place: a desire to learn, have fun, push themselves, and transform. More agenda updates will be coming soon.
Adventure tourism professionals from around the globe representing tour operators and outfitters, travel advisors, dozens of editorial travel media, and tourism boards and ministries, along with supporting industries and service providers, are confirmed to attend this year’s Summit in Salta, Argentina. The event’s delegate list is updated daily, and information about education, networking, the Summit’s business-to-business marketplace, media connections, and adventure opportunities within Argentina is also available. While registration is open for all in the tourism community, members of the association receive a significant discount.