In mid-October, 850 travel industry leaders and decision-makers from around the world will convene in Salta, Argentina, for the 14th annual Adventure Travel World Summit. The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has released the full agenda for the four-day event, being held 16-19 October 2017, which includes the popular networking Marketplace, MediaConnect meetings for delegates, educational workshops and seminars, inspiring keynote addresses, and evening events with partners leading the way in adventure travel product development.
In keeping with this year’s theme of “Unite. Protect. Lead.” keynote speakers promise to inspire and guide delegates. Topics to be addressed this year include climate change, business-minded approaches for using adventure travel as a way to scale environmental and cultural conservation efforts, and progressive management and leadership strategies.
One of this year’s highlights promises to be “Innovative Protectors, Scaling Conservation,” which will address conservation issues from a business perspective alongside an update from the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund’s leadership. During the talk, James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Travel and chair of the Intrepid Foundation, will share strategies employed in operating the largest adventure travel company with a purpose beyond profit. Sofia Heinonen, director of The Conservation Land Trust at Tompkins Conservation in Argentina, will take the stage with him to share lessons with Summit delegates on how to engage with communities in regard to conservation tourism.
To complement this focus on conservation and sustainability, delegates will have an opportunity during the Summit to watch a film screening of the new documentary “Chasing Coral,” which investigates why coral reefs around the world are disappearing at such an incredible rate. It was created in part by Larissa Rhodes and Mark Crawford, both of whom have been on ATTA storytelling teams.
In designing this year’s concurrent educational sessions, the ATTA responded specifically to delegate requests. The association distributed a poll to assess the most relevant and timely issues facing the community with a “Delegate Choice” poll. With the results in hand, the ATTA content team developed some of the educational sessions in order to cater to the interests of attending delegates. These sessions include:
- Community Tourism Partnerships: Evolution of Adventure Product and Marketing.
- Balancing Business and Conservation in National Parks and Protected Areas.
- Building a Culture of Inclusion in Adventure Travel, a special workshop led by ATTA associate and familiar ATWS facilitator Moe Carrick.
In addition to this two-hour session, Carrick will lead the Adventure Women Leadership Studio, a one-day leadership workshop for women following ATWS in Salta.
Throughout the Summit, delegates will focus on educational sessions pertaining to their specific business model or stage of growth. Three breakout tracks — Track 1: Business Basecamp, Track 2: Business Drivers, and Track 3: Game Changers — build upon educational tracks held at last year’s Summit, allowing delegates to focus on specific business-related topics in smaller groups. Delegates may attend any sessions regardless of track and do not need to sign up in advance for those they want to attend. Most sessions are repeated throughout the program to maximize exposure and learning opportunities. Full agenda details are available online.
With fewer than 50 tickets remaining to the Summit, interested travel professionals should register now for the 2017 Adventure Travel World Summit. Registration is also still open for the Adventure Women Leadership Studio but is limited to 75 women.