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Report: Inside the AFAR Exchange Global Marketplace

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The second day of the Adventure Travel World Summit in Aviemore, Scotland featured the business-to-business marketplace sponsored by AFAR magazine. Highlighting 94 inbound tour operators, lodges and destinations from around the world and a series of pre-set and drop-in meetings with attending editorial media and buyer delegates, it was a considered a great success.

“One of the aims of this marketplace is to foster long-lasting business relationships built on trust and shared business goals,” says Alice Gifford, Member Advocate of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. “It’s an extension of the ATTA style of connectivity between members. We find it’s more valuable to focus on the quality of interaction over the quantity of contacts you have.”

Photo: Cheryl Robinson

Only in its second year of operation, the AFAR Exchange Global Marketplace matched or exceeded the expectations of Suppliers and Buyers alike. An exclusive meeting between the marketplace participants and the editorial media present at the Summit was also launched this year, providing unstructured opportunities for journalists and suppliers to connect over mutual interests.

AFAR magazine invited attendees to join AFAR Connect, a new online platform connecting travelers with local businesses, and then kicked off the full-day networking program which continued smoothly for delegates interested in meeting with suppliers from 39 countries including El Salvador, Turkey, Ethiopia, Canada, Scotland, Tahiti, Mexico, India, Chile and more.

Positive feedback included endorsement of the annual pre-Summit social networking site Summit Connections, where delegates find potential partners, schedule meetings and post information about their businesses. Buyers who arrived with mostly full schedules were delighted to find they easily connected with other Suppliers they had not formally connected with. Suppliers reported increased interest and good exposure for their operations, but acknowledged that follow-up is key – with the right business cards in hand, they intend to do just that.

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