The Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Halls at ITB Berlin, the world’s largest tourism trade fair, will once again reflect a growing interest in socially and ecologically conscious travel in the leisure tourism market. The event, being held 8-12 March in Berlin, Germany, has seen steady and solid growth in these sectors, and the Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Halls (4.1/4.2) have created an environment to promote and discuss offerings that allow travelers to experience wilderness settings while positively contributing to local communities. According to Friederike “Freddy” Hansen, product manager of ITB Berlin, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is directly contributing to such growth at ITB, the only major show of its kind to have a dedicated adventure and responsible tourism hall.
“The cooperation between the ATTA and ITB bring together their strength in terms of networks, partners, and content from the industry,” Hansen said, noting a growing number of ATTA members involved in the trade fair. “While ITB possesses one of the strongest international networks, the ATTA brings the energy, knowledge, and focus on new market trends into the hall. Over the years, the ATTA team has supported us in attracting more attention to the topics of adventure travel and responsible tourism.”
Through its consistent participation in the ATTA’s annual Adventure Travel World Summit and its AdventureConnect events, ITB’s team has experienced continued growth of trade exhibitors and visitor networks focused on adventure. Holger Wilke, ITB product manager of the Adventure and Youth Travel Hall said, “For destinations like the Balkans, Peru, and others, they tend to view the ATTA and ITB as a ‘package.’ That says, to me, that our partnership continues to propel us forward, and the ATTA’s engagement has proven very fruitful, especially for our March 2017 ITB.”
This year, the ATTA has received increased support from partners, including Switzerland-based Best of the Alps and Australian-based Adventure Junky, both of which are partner sponsors of the ATTA’s annual AdventureConnect Disruptive Networking Adventure (DNA) event at ITB. Though always a popular activity, this year’s DNA event, set for 16:00-18:00 on Thursday, 9 March, in the Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Hall 4.1 at Globetrotter’s Stand #210 (registration required), may prove to be the most popular yet. Already more than 150 ITB show participants have registered. “The ITB AdventureConnect is a perfect platform for us to increase our brand awareness within a specific community,” said Sammy Salm, CEO at Best of the Alps. “At the same time, it is a good moment to have some networking fun after a very busy day at the show.”
“Adventure Junky’s mission is to assemble the earth’s best adventures – authentic, respectful, sustainable – because it’s critical we preserve the people and places we love to visit,” said Fuchsia Claire Sims, co-founder of Adventure Junky. “We could not be more thrilled to take part in ITB during the year of sustainable tourism for development. AdventureConnect is the perfect opportunity to surround ourselves with the innovators and leaders who are trying to forge a brighter future for our industry and planet. Collaboration is the key to all our success.”
Such swift and early registrations are a tell-tale sign of the pent-up demand for productive and focused networking forums, which, in this case, tap directly into the ITB’s immense diversity of global attendees. Dozens of ATTA members are expected to participate (75 have already registered), including a solid presence from the Americas and Europe, such as long-time partners Failte Ireland (which is expected to have a reception immediately following the AdventureConnect event), Sweden, Via Dinarica Alliance, and others throughout the Balkans. Additionally, registrations are confirmed from more remote destinations like Japan, Iran, Pakistan, Mongolia, and China.
In addition to an ATTA news briefing (including developments regarding 2017 adventure travel trade events in the USA, Argentina, Chile, Italy, and more, plus the newly launched Adventure Travel Conservation Fund) and special giveaways expected throughout the event, Best of the Alps and Adventure Junky are collaborating to make beverages and hors d’oeuvres available to help power the DNA activities. Both new and returning participants at the ATTA’s open and informal DNA events can expect to make new professional and organizational connections to help drive business and discover a platform for sharing best practices and exploring innovative paths to responsible tourism development.
For ITB 2017, ATTA will be represented by team members Chris Doyle (Executive Director-Europe), Tereza Georgieva (Special Projects-Europe), Gabi Stowell (Regional Manager-LATAM), Tami Fairweather (Media Relations Manager), and Manal Kelig (Executive Director, Middle East & North Africa).