Relationships & Knowledge-Sharing at Adventure Travel World Summit 2022 Aim to Build a Stronger & Better Travel Industry

3 July 2022

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” The common adage so many of us have heard, and even used ourselves. Knowing the right people can undoubtedly give you the access or audience reach you are seeking. 

But what if we reversed the phrase to highlight another benefit: “who you know, is what you know.” If we only maintain our current knowledge and existing business contacts, we risk not learning about new trends and information affecting the adventure travel industry. We miss out on opportunities to keep our businesses relevant, responsible and economically healthy. 

Delegates gathering for the opening night dinner at ATWS 2019 in Sweden.

At the Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS), the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) focuses on both of these valuable benefits: the who (networking) and the what (education). By bringing together members from every sector of the adventure travel industry, event attendees gain access to new perspectives and audiences that increase their business opportunities and knowledge. Judy Karwacki from Jubilee Travel and Small Planet Consulting shares that “as a consultant who works with emerging destinations, there is no better place than the Summit for my clients to gain the knowledge and contacts needed to succeed in adventure travel. ATTA provides direct access to A-level media, tour operators, travel agents and other industry partners and influencers. The Summit is THE place for B2B partnerships, peer-to-peer learning, leading edge learning, inspiration, an incredible sense of community and so much more!”

An incredible sense of community. ATWS attendees frequently praise the special and unique group of adventure travelers that gather for this event – overflowing with changemakers that welcome and appreciate everyone for who they are and the unique perspectives they bring to the industry. There’s a sense of collective responsibility and teamwork, where delegates feel united by a common purpose to improve tourism, knowing it can only happen when enough momentum is created together.

Left: ATWS delegates participating in a Climate Action Walk & Talk session. Right: ATWS delegates participating in a "plogging" session - the Swedish eco-fitness craze that combines jogging and picking up trash.

With the theme for ATWS 2022 centering around the four natural elements - air, water, fire, and earth - attendees will be reminded during adventures and educational sessions of the most foundational wonders on which our relationship with nature depends. Switzerland, as a leader in sustainable tourism, will undoubtedly offer tangible examples of generating a mutually-nourishing relationship with nature, while this year’s delegates discuss the complexity in restoring nature’s balance in an unpredictable world, and how people and adventure tourism benefit when sustainability is prioritized.


This is not your typical networking event full of passive conversations with colleagues. This is a gathering of like-minded people that are genuinely interested in exchanging ideas that spark creativity. People that are willing to share their business obstacles to help others solve their own; people that want to build new partnerships they would have never imagined or had access to previously. The connections that happen over the course of the 4-day event are the kind that build trust and confidence and leave you feeling more inspired and supported.  

Everyone has a preferred style of networking, and whether it’s structured or more casual, ATWS offers everyone the following range of opportunities to make connections and build stronger networks with:

Day of Adventure 

Open to all delegates, the Day of Adventure takes place on the first day of ATWS, prior to the Welcome Reception in the evening. These day trips offer attendees an opportunity to explore the Ticino region and jumpstart the event in the language our travel community speaks best: outdoor adventures. As passionate participants in the outdoor world, many of you have already experienced the authentic connections and conversations that flow so effortlessly as you paddle, cycle, or share a meal with your peers - the kind of dialogue that can reinvigorate your creativity and your businesses. “I never thought I'd be cycling through the hills of Tuscany having a conversation with a colleague about what his company is doing to address climate change,” Stephen Taranto, founder of La Paz on Foot, shared after his ATWS Day of Adventure experience. “It goes to show that adventure travel is more than beautiful landscapes and delicious also gives rise to exchange, inspiration, community and action.”

Delegates participating in hiking and rock climbing activities during AdventureWeek Switzerland 2021.


Pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings designed to connect Buyers (outbound tour operators and travel advisors who sell adventure experiences) with Suppliers (inbound adventure operators and destinations). These 12-minute meetings provide the opportunity to build new partnerships and unique itineraries for adventure travelers around the globe. Weeks ahead of ATWS, participants will have the opportunity to submit their preferences for specific buyers or suppliers in attendance, and once the selection period closes, ATTA best matches each participant's requests while balancing schedules to provide equal opportunity for all. Marketplace tables are currently sold out, but you can visit the Marketplace page to learn more about who can participate, what costs may be applicable, and how to be added to the waitlist.

Delegates engaging in structured networking opportunities, including Marketplace (on the left) and MediaConnect (on the right).


Speed networking with the Summit’s official media delegates! The relationship between the media and business owners is so important for the industry as a whole, and is why the ATTA strives to provide attendees the environment to make these connections and have these crucial conversations. During quick, 5-minute meetings, delegates have the chance to pitch their story ideas to an impressive and diverse field of international travel journalists and content creators, who are seeking inspiration and story ideas from delegates. These meetings are not pre-scheduled and are open to all delegates. 

Delegates learning and sharing from one another during a facilitated peer-to-peer roundtable session.

Peer-to-Peer Learning 

In addition to informal conversations that occur throughout the event, ATWS 2022 will continue to provide its roundtable sessions, Adventure Accelerators, where delegates collaborate and share experiences and knowledge on very specific initiatives, in a facilitated peer-to-peer setting. This year’s roundtables include content marketing, the future of cycling tourism, payments and transactions, and more. "The peer-to-peer exchange is exactly the type of sharing among colleagues that keeps me coming back to the Summit every year,” said Steve Markle, VP of Sales & Marketing at O.A.R.S. “Learning about the successes and failures other small business leaders have encountered is worth the price of attendance alone.”

Event Networking App

To help facilitate introductions specific to each delegate’s needs, the ATTA’s event networking app allows ATWS attendees to craft their own digital business card to inform other delegates about their areas of expertise and types of partnerships they are seeking, while also offering delegates the ability to filter the list of attendees by needs or interests. Helping delegates discover and connect with the right people is one of the most valuable benefits of attending ATWS.  

An opportunity to gather and learn from one another, in-person, is invaluable to our professional and personal lives. The ATTA recognizes how important it is to provide an experience like ATWS to help each other and the adventure travel industry as a whole to grow stronger and smarter, and to prioritize responsible, sustainable tourism. Join the changemakers this 3-6 October in Lugano, Switzerland and let the energy and people fuel your business ideas for the coming year.

Tickets for ATWS 2022 are nearing sell-out capacity, so register soon to secure your place on the delegate list!