More than 200 public and private sector representatives from twelve Southeastern European destinations will connect with 45 international outbound tour operators and 20 international adventure journalists arriving from 16 source markets during the AdventureNEXT conference this May in Ohrid, Macedonia.
The theme “Learn. Partner. Grow.” is expected to spark imaginations and offer pragmatic strategies, tools and resources that lead to an improved climate of learning, sharing, partnership and growth across borders, between buyers and suppliers, between governments, between journalists and all conference delegates and even between former competitors.
What’s at stake? The (re)emergence of one of Europe’s most impressive and untapped adventure tourism landscapes.
“With adventure travellers looking for destinations that are unspoiled, authentic and safe, it’s no surprise that there’s a growing buzz about the Balkans,” said Lyn Hughes, editor-in-chief of Wanderlust. “With its mountains and lakes, wildlife and culture, and great value for money, this is a region that delivers on every front. AdventureNEXT Balkans is coming just at the right time to showcase the range of offerings from travel’s next big adventure destination.”
Through the ATTA’s inaugural event, visiting delegates will come to understand why Southeastern Europe is unique and on the rise, and thus a strong candidate region for developing new itineraries.
“The thing that makes the Balkans so exceptional right now is this opportunity to use them to shape the adventure travel scene pretty much any way that people see fit,” said Tim Neville, Outside contributor and freelance writer. “It’s as if they have all of these wonderful ingredients—the culture, the history, the landscape—just ready to go and everyone now just needs to figure out how best to cook them.”
Meanwhile, for regional representatives, AdventureNEXT is expected to help spur governments and businesses within the Balkans to continue to invest in education and training, active engagement with the ATTA community, and initiatives designed to better serve guests.
With all this in mind, here is a snapshot of what lays ahead for AdventureNEXT Balkans 2016:
AdventureNEXT Base Camp Pilot Initiative (January 21 – 22 2016):
Generally speaking, the Balkans are in their adolescence on the adventure tourism stage, yet the region is poised to reach a new plateau in development and already features high quality providers well-prepared to share world-class experiences. To further enhance its readiness, Paul Easto, Founder of Wilderness Scotland and an ATTA Advisory Board Member, is helping the ATTA introduce AdventureNEXT Base Camp in Skopje, Macedonia’s capital.
The two-day program, offered to AdventureNEXT Pre-, Post- and Day of Adventure providers, is designed to complement the trainings and professional development already delivered this past two years through the ATTA’s AdventureEDU program.
Increased AdventureNEXT Sponsors/Partners
As anticipation and momentum mounts, the ATTA and Macedonia report an increasing number of registrations for the conference and Marketplace, all while an increasing number of sponsor partners are stepping forward, including Turkish Airlines, Croatia National Tourism Board and Visit Meteora DMC, Greece. Plus, several partnership agreements are currently in final stages of negotiation.
New Event-specific Publication, AdventureNEXT Bulletin
We’re introducing a new, short-form digital publication to serve Southeastern Europe ahead of AdventureNEXT. The Bulletin is tailored to offer regional adventure tourism industry professionals throughout the entire supply chain the latest news, updates and resources related to the event to heighten awareness and engagement.