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Delegates to Gain Center Stage at 2009 Adventure Travel World Summit

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(SEATTLE) – July 14, 2009 – With intensive focus on peer-to-peer networking, exploration of real-world case studies and active engagement with attending journalists, by design registered delegates of the October 19-22, 2009 Adventure Travel World Summit will take center stage in a manner unmatched at all previous Summit events.

“After delivering five previous successful Summits, we’ve adapted to rapid market shifts and evolved this year’s agenda to reflect the immediate needs of trade professionals, all while keeping our sights set on the long haul,” said Shannon Stowell, president of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the organizing association of the annual Summits. “This year, delegates gain a pivotal role in influencing the agenda and helping to manage the direction, dialogue and debates before, during and after the Summit.”
The ATTA has introduced for 2009 three new programs: Marketplace (a first for the ATTA in North America), Meeting of the Minds and Collaborative Learning. Each of these featured programs are delegate-driven versus conference-organizer driven.

For Marketplace, buyers, specialty adventure travel agents and travel journalists connect for pre-set appointments with tour operators and ground suppliers representing destinations worldwide. To aid delegates in maximizing their networking time at the Summit, the ATTA has introduced Summit Connections, a delegate-directed online networking schedule planner. In addition to connecting directly with others, the online tool also enables delegates to craft personal Summit itineraries.

To provide delegates with real-time focus on practical matters such as online marketing, public relations, sustainable tourism, standards and best practices, guide certification, risk management, agent and operator collaboration, among other timely topics, the ATTA has introduced for 2009 the Meeting of the Minds and Collaborative Learning series. Each program, heavily reliant on round-table discussions presented and facilitated by delegates, will primarily focus on attending delegates’ real-world issues along with specific case studies. Top experts from the field will serve as opening panelists to help to set context for specific topics, then will shift to facilitation roles so that Summit delegates’ drive the programs.

ATTA guided, the delegate-led Meeting of the Minds carries pre-published agendas designed to address key challenges/opportunities brought forth by the global adventure travel industry for collective brainstorming, dialogue and debate. Meeting of the Minds concurrent sessions include: Sustainability, Standards & Best Practices; Social Media & Networking; Specialty Adventure Travel Agent & Operator Collaboration; Global Online Distribution Systems; and Evolving Paradigms for Guides – Relationships, Technique, Credentials.

Whereas Meeting of the Minds focuses on broader industry matters, Collaborative Learning sessions provide delegates the chance to share and explore their own real-world case studies to build understanding, to gain practical tools and insights, and action plans for organizational implementation. Concurrent sessions include: Supply Chain Collaboration, Public Relations Strategies, Online Marketing Strategies, Image, Branding & Storytelling, Social Media & Networking, and Sustainable Tourism in Emerging Destinations.

Delegates also will figure prominently in one of the ATTA’s Adventure Travel World Summit perennial favorites, “Meet the Press,” which offers delegates a chance to meet one-on-one with influential journalists to pitch stories. Each concurrent session starts with fresh panels of journalists (including international media representatives) who will discuss their outlet, their editorial calendars and upcoming projects. In the interactions, delegates gain insights into how to work with and effectively pitch travel journalists, then gain one-on-one access to their desired media of choice. Media outlets served by journalists already registered: The New York Times, USA Today, National Public Radio, Smithsonian, Men’s Journal, National Geographic Adventure, The L.A. Times, National Geographic Traveler, The Boston Globe, Discover, Sierra, Best Life, Hemispheres, Outside, Wired, Travel Age West Magazine, Robb Report,, The Denver Post,, and many more.

Plenary sessions include inspirational keynote addresses delivered by famed Québec natives Daniel Gauthier, co-founder of Cirque de Soleil and president and chief executive officer of Groupe Le Massif, and astrophysicist and ecologist Sir Hubert Reeves. Additionally, an array of industry experts will deliver Transformative Thinking talks to help leaders step outside day-to-day operational mindsets to consider much broader concerns and possibilities.

Additional details regarding Marketplace, Meeting of the Minds, Collaborative Learning and other programs and speakers scheduled for the 2009 Summit are available at

Adventure Travel World Summit sponsors include: Host Destination Tourisme Québec and Aventure Ecotourisme Québec; Major Sponsors ExOfficio and Men’s Journal; and Key Sponsors Alpine Tourist Commission, Archaeology Magazine, Best of the Alps, Brazil, Tourism Promotion Corporation of Chile, Eddie Bauer, Innovation Norway, and National Geographic Adventure.

Established in 1990, the ATTA ( is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market. ATTA members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, specialty travel agents, guides, accommodations, media and service providers. Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit executive trade conferences, the ATTA also makes possible www.Adventure.Travel, the traveler’s hub of physical, cultural and nature-based adventure travel and guide to trusted tour operators from around the globe.

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