Lugano, Switzerland Announced as 2022 Adventure Travel World Summit Host Destination

19 July 2021

On Friday, 16 July, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and Switzerland Tourism held three AdventureConnects in Seattle, Boston, and Zürich to announce Lugano, Switzerland as the host destination for the 2022 Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) on 3-7 October 2022. For the first time ever, the ATWS is returning to a host destination to celebrate the ten-year anniversary of the 2012 ATWS previously held in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Following almost two years of postponements and interruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Adventure Travel World Summit will take place in person in the Ticino region of Switzerland in October of 2022. More than just a conference, the Summit is a global gathering of an industry that works hard and plays hard, offering deep-dive educational content, big-name keynote speakers, and endless networking opportunities – both structured and off-site — including a Tour Operator Marketplace with a globally diverse group of businesses and destinations and a MediaConnect session where delegates can pitch story ideas to over 40 international travel writers and editors. With a primary focus on Sustainable Tourism, the 2022 Summit themes will convene around the elements of fire, water, air, and earth.

“Ever since my participation at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Sweden in 2019, it was my dream to get this exciting event back to Switzerland. After all, Switzerland is the cradle of adventure travel and still today, the adventure capital of Europe,” said Martin Nydegger, CEO of Switzerland Tourism. “The ATTA and Switzerland can build on almost fifteen years of close collaboration and friendship.”

The Adventure Travel Trade Association and Switzerland Tourism have shared a strong relationship over the past fifteen years, with the 2012 Adventure Travel World Summit held in Lucerne exactly ten years ago. Further building on this relationship, the two organizations recently announced a two-year partnership, led by a collective drive to pursue, support, and encourage sustainable tourism. Driven by Switzerland’s aptly named “swisstainable” strategy, this partnership will include multiple components over a two-year period, including knowledge gathering and sharing, education, market activation, and awareness campaigns on the topic of sustainability, across ATTA trade and consumer channels. These will provide more tools and insights for the industry overall and will amplify tourism opportunities and sustainability success stories from Switzerland.

Additionally, as ATTA’s Global Exclusive Sustainability Destination Partner, Switzerland Tourism will support the ATTA’s event emissions measurement efforts and carbon offsetting that supports nature-based solutions through Neutral Together and carbon removal via direct air capture and permanent storage through Tomorrow’s Air.

The official opening of the event will be held at the Lugano Arts and Culture Center (Lugano Arts e Cultura) on 3 October 2022, preceded by a Day of Adventure that will include a wide range of activities. Each activity is offered with one of the four themes of ATWS 2022 in mind and will showcase the strength and depth of Switzerland’s “swisstainable” mindset. These adventures will include urban swimming and stand-up paddleboarding in Lake Lugano, mountain biking on Mounte Brè, uncovering the cultural history of Mount Verità, paragliding over Lake Lugano, learning how to cook the perfect risotto, or climbing one of the highest artificial climbing walls at the Diga di Luzzone Dam. The week’s itinerary will include inspirational keynote speakers, breakout sessions, networking opportunities, Marketplace, MediaConnect, not to mention the opportunity for delegates to take a mid-afternoon urban swim in Lake Lugano.

As transportation is a key component of a sustainable community, Switzerland Tourism will provide buyers, media, and ATTA with a Swiss Travel Pass for unlimited and sustainable travel across Switzerland thanks to the Swiss Travel System. Switzerland Tourism will also offer a special rate for Swiss Travel Passes specifically for ATWS 2022 delegates. In addition to this, Ticino’s Sustainability manager, Veronica Lafranchi commented: “By seeing where the world is going and by getting inspiration at ATWS in Goteborg and Milena Nikolova’s session on Behaviour-Smart Thinking, we at Ticino Tourism Board also decided to propose that this 2022 ATWS is an entirely vegetarian summit, with the aim of showing that changes are possible. It’s just a matter of will and breaking old habits.”

“An exciting first for the ATTA community is going back to a destination where we’ve held a Summit before. Switzerland has been an incredible partner to this community and is with open arms inviting everyone to Ticino for what I know will be a world-class gathering of adventure travel thought leaders,” added Shannon Stowell, CEO of Adventure Travel Trade Association.

Registration will open after the 2021 Adventure Travel World Summit Virtual.

ATTA and our Swiss hosts recognize that the final confirmed 2022 ATWS dates were scheduled over the religious holiday of Yom Kippur on 4-5 October. For members of our community who observe the holiday, we humbly hope you consider still joining us in Lugano, and invite you to reach out directly about arrangements that have been made for you to attend services at a local synagogue ([email protected]). For all events we have an internal reference calendar with the intention to prevent, when possible, scheduling events over meaningful and important global holidays.