In three months, the adventure travel community will gather in Hokkaido, Japan for the annual Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) from 11-14 September 2023.
This year’s theme of 調和 – Harmony – offers delegates a chance to immerse themselves in a collective spirit of unity and working together for the greater good. We look forward to learning how this concept of harmony can teach us to create a sustainable ecosystem of nature, communities, and economies worldwide as we look to the future of adventure travel. This theme is reflected in the full schedule of events, which can be viewed here, and throughout the Summit, delegates are invited to ponder what is possible when our individual intentions pursue a shared vision.
The agenda for ATWS aims to showcase regional trends in the Asia-Pacific region, explore the growing call for sustainability as a default mode of operation, and dive deep into ways of working together toward toward a more inclusive and community-based future of tourism. The interactive sessions scheduled offer opportunities to learn from one another through workshops, facilitated discussions, and peer-to-peer roundtables. Below are a few highlights; or you can view the full agenda here:
Plenaries and Keynotes
Welcome + The State of the Adventure Travel Industry
Hear what the event theme (Chōwa | Harmony) means to people from Japan and abroad, learn what is happening in our global community, and take a moment to pause and reflect on shared stories of success that have lifted our spirits since the rise and fall of the pandemic.
Finding Inner Chōwa through Rewilding
To be in harmony with the planet, we must restore our connection to places, and listen with ecological curiosity to learn what is needed to thrive; Holistic Science Scholar Pupak Haghighi invites us to design restorative experiences that allow inner harmony to radiate outward.
Adventure Innovation Challenge with Reset Tourism Fund
Join the UnTours Foundation for this pitch competition designed for emerging entrepreneurs whose businesses represent a better future of tourism. A panel of expert judges will determine the winner, who will receive a sizable investment in the form of flexible and affordable capital to grow their business.
Campfire Chat: Aligning Business with Sustainability
In this conversation between ATTA CEO Shannon Stowell and Darrell Wade, the co-founder and Chairman of Intrepid, we’ll learn how key players in the travel industry are working to embed the principles of sustainability as non-negotiable business decisions as we collectively face the need for urgent change.
The Land of Wa
As the closing keynote speaker, best-selling author Pico Iyer will share his perspective on how harmony binds us together, try to illuminate the way Japan is deeply different from the world most of us know, and invite delegates to take that inspiration and line of questioning home – wherever on the globe home may be.
Select Concurrent Sessions
Asia Pacific Adventure Travel Market Trends & Insights
With fresh research, experts weigh in on the nuances and expectations of Asian adventure travelers, how technology is shaping their experiences, whether and how sustainability is a priority, and offer key insights for destinations and operators alike.
The Collaborative & Sustainable Future of Asia-Pacific Adventure Tourism
Collaboration among the destinations of the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is the key to making sustainability the top priority in tourism management. In this session we open the floor to discuss regional cooperation opportunities and strategies to bolster the region now and into the future.
Communities First: Investing in Indigenous and Community Tourism
In this session, we examine Indigenous and Community-Based Tourism initiatives that are urgently propelling the transition from a growth mindset to one of sufficiency and long-term sustainability through examples of grassroots efforts, destination-level support, storytelling tools, and engagement strategies.
Inquiries on Inclusive Tourism
In this conversational session about accessible tourism, hear from a member of the tour industry who has begun the journey to grow their inclusive travel products. Delegates will examine opportunities and challenges and workshop innovative solutions for making travel more inclusive.
ChōwaGPT: Achieving Sales & Marketing Harmony with AI and Human Connection
This workshop is tailored for seasoned adventure travel business owners seeking to boost bookings – think strategies that blend cutting-edge AI technology with human connection. Hear insights from industry peers who have successfully harnessed automation and AI in their sales and content marketing endeavors.
Sustainability & Climate Action for Japanese Suppliers
This session will be delivered in Japanese language for local attendees: 自然や文化に根ざした観光はもちろんのこと、観光活動が問題ではなく、地域にとって解決策の一部となるよう細心の注意を払うことが求められています。 高山氏は20年以上アジアにおけるエコツーリズムの振興に携わった経験から、持続可能な観光がどのように発展してきたかについて国内の観光事業者と共に語ります。
In addition to speakers and sessions, there are structured and unstructured networking and discussion opportunities throughout the event for connecting with industry professionals, including Adventure Accelerators, MediaConnect, Marketplace, tailored Invite-Only Workshops, and the Day of Adventure. Specialized will also offer guided bicycle rides for a limited number of delegates and the ATWS planning committee hopes to offer a selection of special activities that showcase the cultural heritage of Japan, such as art workshops, early morning karate, a traditional tea ceremony (chado), Zen meditation, a visit to the Hokkaido-jingu Shrine, and more.