Last Year’s Winners Encourage Tour Operators to Apply for 2015 Scholarship for Summit in Chile

28 April 2015

Veteran and newly established tour operators are treated equally at the Adventure Travel World Summit. All delegates have the opportunity to seek out professional development, inspiration and mentorship from fellow adventure travel professionals from around the world.

Each year, the ATTA seeks motivated operators, who show a demonstrated potential for having a positive impact on their local culture or ecological resources, to apply for a scholarship. Three winners each year receive a ticket to the Summit, a year’s membership to the ATTA, a travel stipend for airfare and hotel and the opportunity to meet buyers at a dedicated MARKETPLACE table.

Since 2013 Tour Operator Scholarships have been made possible with support from the law offices of Rome McGuigan, P.C.

Apply for a scholarship to attend the 2015 Adventure Travel World Summit in Puerto Varas, Chile. Deadline is May 20, 2015 or as soon as we receive 75 applications.

In order to showcase the opportunities these scholarships can provide for emerging tour operators and to encourage new applications, we caught up with last year’s scholarship recipients to see how attending the 2014 Summit in Ireland changed their business.

La Paz on Foot has been designing, organizing and operating innovative responsible tourism programs in Bolivia and throughout the Central Andean region for over 10 years. More than just offering travel programs in the region, they also carry out sustainable development and biodiversity conservation projects in the destinations they serve. Stephen Taranto is co-owner of La Paz on Foot.

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.00.55 AMATTA: What was your fondest memory from last year’s Summit in Ireland?

Taranto: My fondest memory is of Shannon's closing remarks, when he reminded us all of our common cause, to transform and lead the adventure travel business into a sustainable endeavor for ourselves and each other.

ATTA: What changes to your business have you made since attending ATWS 2014 in Ireland?

Taranto: We have become more active members of ATTA, participating in the Adventure Guide Standards development process, submitting more Member News stories and having a much clearer understanding of what our partners in the North need from us as operators in the South. This has pushed us to improve our overall operations.

What is the number one reason you would tell tour operators to apply for the scholarship to go to ATWS 2015 in Chile?

Taranto: The ATWS Scholarship is a unique opportunity to move beyond The HUB and the emails and truly connect with the ATTA tribe. The face-to-face contact with peers from north to south and from east to west is the best way to deepen our connections and make commitments to move forward in concrete collaborations.

Amigo Trails is the only independent tour operator with offices located inside Mexico’s Copper Canyon. They pride themselves on their high quality, in-depth and customizable itineraries. Yolanda Norman de Fernandez is the owner of Amigo Trails and a trip designer.
Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 10.02.09 AMATTA: What did you learn from attending ATWS 2014 in Ireland?

de Fernandez: ​Being a scholarship winner in 2014 was a remarkable opportunity for our company. I met with a lot of wonderfully professional and efficient people and a good range of companies that I would not have been able to contact on my own. The setting really allowed me to learn so much more as well from fellow tour operators doing business in other parts of the world.

ATTA: What is the number one reason you would tell tour operators to apply for the scholarship to go to ATWS 2015 in Chile?

​de Fernandez: The setting in the middle of Latin America will no doubt prove extremely beneficial, and the actual Summit itself will be a great venue for you to meet other professionals from all different markets in the tourism sector.

ATTA: What was your favorite part of last year’s Summit in Ireland?

de Fernandez: The scenery was for me the most beautiful part of the ATWS in Ireland in 2014. Ireland was just such a scenic place to visit. After the Summit, I rented a vehicle and drove around the entire country in two weeks. The diversity was staggering and I was continually amazed at the sights around the next corner. ​

Learn more about Tour Operator Scholarships and apply now.

Previous Scholarship Winners

Amigo Trails – Copper Canyon Experts MEXICO
Green Pathways Tours Nicaragua NICARAGUA
La Paz on Foot BOLIVIA

Uptuyu Adventures AUSTRALIA
RED Sustainable Travel MEXICO

Discover Veracruz Tours MEXICO
Pure Tibet Travel Company CHINA

Washow Lodge CANADA
Strawberry Fields Eco Lodge ETHIOPIA
Sacred Rides Mountain Bike Adventures CANADA