One-Day, Travel-Focused Climate Change Conference to Address Industry Response; Tourism Professionals Encouraged to Attend

25 June 2019

(Seattle, Washington, June 25, 2019) - Recognizing the gravity of the global climate crisis, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is hosting the Climate Action Leadership Studio on September 20, 2019, in Gothenburg, Sweden, to specifically acknowledge the travel and tourism industry’s role in addressing and mitigating climate change. Registration is now open for the one-day event, which features several esteemed speakers and hands-on sessions designed to equip participants with information, resources, and strategies to propel climate action initiatives within their own companies.

The September 20 Studio will occur the day after the ATTA’s annual Adventure Travel World Summit event. All travel-related professionals are encouraged to attend the event, regardless of Summit attendance or ATTA membership status.

One of the travel and tourism industry’s core values is to care for the environment, and those working in the industry realize proactive climate action is critical for the industry’s future. Yet, despite a personal and professional interest in environmental conservation, travel is a major contributor of climate change. Climate change will affect all travel companies across the world eventually with financial consequences. Developing strategies to tackle and mitigate these challenges is essential for both travel-related businesses and the planet.

“Sustainability is already at our core and critical to healthy adventure travel now and in the future,” said Casey Hanisko, president of the ATTA. “It is time to challenge ourselves and ask, ‘what else can we do?’”

The Climate Action Leadership Studio will empower tour companies and other travel-related professionals to remain relevant in these changing dynamics. During the one-day Studio, participants will learn practical ways businesses are handling climate change, actions that can be implemented immediately for the benefit of the climate and business bottom line, and information on how best to communicate about climate change.

Presenters include:

  • Jim Kane, director of corporate social responsibility, Exito Travel (an air partner to more than 100 tour operators throughout the Americas
  • Jens Olejak, director of sustainability energy, managing director for Sweden, South Pole Group
  • Johan Eliasson, senior manager, South Pole Group
  • Leslie Bruce, president and CEO, Banff & Lake Louise Tourism
  • Eric Balian, managing director, Terres d’Aventure - EAD Group
  • Steven Goodman, business development manager, Climeworks
  • Jeff Bonaldi, CEO, The Explorer’s Passage
  • Elín Sigurðardóttir, co-owner, Icelandic Mountain Guides
  • Christina Beckmann, senior director, strategy + impact, ATTA
  • Casey Hanisko, president, ATTA / Adventure 360
“The urgency of climate change demands effective solutions today,” Goodman said. “At Climeworks, we’re focusing on direct air capture and storage. We just launched a new offer for anyone to directly contribute to the fight against the climate crisis by removing unavoidable emissions. We believe the travel community could be a valuable partner in building awareness and sparking uptake among travelers."

According to a 2018 paper published in the scientific journal Natural Climate Change, travel-related activities make up 8% of global greenhouse emissions. Discourse about the Paris climate agreement and consequences resulting from a warming planet have thrust the issue into mainstream conversation, escalating consumer awareness of travel’s carbon impacts. This statistic comes into sharper focus when viewed through a lens related to consumer values and behavior: A recent study from Edelman of 8,000 people across eight markets found consumers believe brands are a more powerful force for societal change than government, and two-thirds of consumers buy based on values. It is clear travel professionals will benefit by taking positive steps to address the climate crisis and making those actions visible to consumers.

“Addressing climate change as a collective and pooling our knowledge and best practices is good for the planet, and frankly, imperative to the future of our industry,” Hanisko said.

Icelandic Mountain Guides is the sponsoring partner for the Climate Action Leadership Studio.

The Climate Action Leadership Studio is now open for registration, which will be capped at 100 participants. Registration costs $75 USD and includes a digital climate action leadership badge as a symbol of commitment.


About Adventure Travel Trade Association
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) today is widely recognized as a vital leadership voice and partner for the adventure travel industry around the world.

Membership + Trade
The membership and trade organization is designed to be a force for the industry and exists to drive thought leadership, industry promotion, and opportunities to network and convene globally to create trade and business health. It currently serves more than 1,300 member organizations in 100 countries worldwide. The constituency is made up of tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents, and accommodations all sharing a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism.

Adventure 360 - Business Services + Events
Through its growing business services division, the ATTA delivers a portfolio of strategic solutions and a robust ecosystem of events around the globe. Those events include AdventureNEXT which focuses on regional promotion and partnerships; AdventureELEVATE a North American-based educational conference; and the premiere adventure travel global conference, the Adventure Travel World Summit. With specialized expertise in research, events, education, media, and promotion, the ATTA business service division is able to provide valuable solutions to a broad set of partners across many verticals of business.

Adventure Travel Conservation Fund
In 2016 the ATTA partnered with other leaders from the adventure travel industry to start the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF), a nonprofit that provides funding, connections and an international spotlight on projects that protect the cultural and natural resources which underpin the adventure tourism industry. 100% of membership dues go towards funding these international projects. Each year members nominate projects, which are then vetted and finally voted upon by the ATCF membership.