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President Felipe Calderón: “Mexico has to become the champion of adventure travel.”

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Calderón and ATTA President Stowell Raise Adventure Tourism’s Profile at [email protected]

Mexico President Felipe Calderón and ATTA President Stowell Raise Adventure Tourism’s Profile at [email protected]

(SEATTLE) – December 6, 2010 – At the invitation of Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) President Shannon Stowell, today, followed by supportive remarks by Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón, addressed the Green Solutions @ COP16 forum to bring global attention to the manner in which adventure tourism empowers local economies, protects wildlife, protects endangered human cultures and leaves a softer footprint on the environment than other sectors.

Green Solutions @ COP16, which carries the theme, “Shaping Clean Policy for a Low Carbon Economy,” showcases leading private sector

Shannon Stowell next to Mexico President Felipe Calderon at [email protected] Summit

efforts in climate change mitigation, particularly in the fields of trade, investment and technological development.

The ATTA was selected to represent the tourism sector. The event is being held in Cancun, Mexico,

December 5 to 8, 2010, and hosted during the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“Adventure travel is on the front lines of climate change issues – this is borne out of need – it is daily and starkly apparent to adventure travel companies that if their local environment is destroyed or they lose their local wildlife and cultures, that their businesses have no future even in the short term, much less the long term,” said Stowell. “Interestingly, because the majority of adventure travel businesses are SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and entrepreneurial, innovative ideas and products often emerge from this segment.”

Stowell was followed by a speech from President Calderón, who commented on the future of sustainable industries, “Adventure travel is key to the preservation of habitat and culture…Mexico has to become the champion of adventure travel.” President Calderón’s statements indicate increasing support for alternative forms of tourism in Mexico that have proven sustainable futures.

After hearing Stowell speak at an early November 2010 trade event in Mazatlan, Mexico, Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism Gloria Guevara asked him to share at the Green Solutions being held in Cancun how adventure tourism is positively affecting destinations, businesses and climate change worldwide.

Secretary Guevara, who presented before Stowell, has recently adopted increasingly favorable views about the potential for adventure tourism development in Mexico. The secretary’s perspectives on adventure tourism were influenced in recent years in part by the ATTA and Xola Consulting’s persistent presence in assisting influencers within Mexico’s tourism industry to consider the sector as a key to ensuring the long-term economic, social and environmental viability of tourism in the country.

Additionally, in recent weeks, Secretary Guevara also captured the interest of Mexico’s President Felipe Calderón, who’s tourism officials today recognized the ATTA’s 2011 Adventure Travel World Summit slated for October 17-20 in San Cristóbal de las Casas in Chiapas, Mexico, before a global press corps. Stowell’s top speaking role today reflects a shifting paradigm for how Mexico values adventure tourism. In just a few short weeks, adventure tourism has rapidly evolved – in the minds of Mexico’s leaders – into a pivotal role in the fight against climate change.

During his talk, Stowell conveyed why the growing adventure travel segment matters to the discussions occurring in Cancun and around the world concerning climate change and related issues such as habitat degradation, wildlife loss and continued poverty cycles. He illustrated this with the following points:

  • Adventure travel is on the front lines of climate change issues
  • Adventure travel protects the important ‘lungs of the earth’.  Different from waste reduction or carbon offsetting efforts, this is market-driven preservation
  • Adventure travel transforms consumers into active advocates
  • Adventure travel requires less development than traditional industry

The full transcript for Stowell’s speech is available:


About the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)

Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market. The ATTA’s membership, now representing more than 650 members in 70 countries, includes tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, specialty travel agents, guides, accommodations, media and service providers. Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit executive trade conferences, the ATTA also makes possible www.Adventure.Travel, the traveler’s hub of physical, cultural and nature-based adventure travel and guide to trusted tour operators from around the globe.

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