Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) Adventure Champions are the vanguards of the adventure travel industry having been members of ATTA and leaders in the community for a minimum of 15 years. They are true believers in the power of adventure travel and have made an impact on the direction of ATTA and on the industry as a whole. To honor their commitment to their ethos and lasting contribution to the adventure travel industry we are spotlighting Adventure Champions through a series of interviews
Headquarters: United States
ATTA Member since 2006
Introducing Greg Witt, Founder / Chief Adventure Officer
Tell us about Alpenwild:
Alpenwild is the leader in active travel in the Alps, best known for small-group, guided hiking and trekking trips on routes like the Tour du Mont Blanc, Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route, and the Via Alpina. But our expertise extends to other active tours like village-based day hikes, culinary adventures, scenic rail tours, and self-guided travel in the Alps.
Why have you stayed an ATTA member for 15+ years?
ATTA is an exceptional value regardless of where you are in the industry or in your career life-cycle. Initially, we came to learn and get our message out to the media. As we grew, we turned to the research, the expanding offering of events, and connecting with like-minded companies and energetic people. Now we come to share and to position ourselves for the future.
How has your company/destination changed over the last 15 years?:
Alpenwild’s growth has mirrored the trajectory of adventure travel. Adventure travel has grown from a niche segment in the worldwide travel industry to encompass cultural travel, culinary travel, humanitarian travel, ecotravel, educational travel, and more. That change has taken travelers from large-group sightseeing tours to a more authentic, active, and immersive experience.
Innovation keeps Alpenwild at the forefront of these dynamic travel trends. One of our core philosophies is encapsulated by Jerry Garcia—We don’t merely want to be the best at what we do. We want to be the only ones who do what we do. As we develop new routes, destinations, tours, and features, we strive to be the first and the only operator offering that experience. Leading with innovation makes it very difficult—almost impossible—for competitors to catch up, much less stay ahead of us.
What is the greatest force that drives you to work every day?
As the founder and Chief Adventure Officer of Alpenwild, I get to experience the thrill of discovery on a regular basis, then figure out how to share that discovery and experience with our guests. What we do is “theater in the wild.” It involves creating and sharing the wonder and amazement so that our guests return richer, stronger, and wiser. Even though I no longer lead every tour, I still love connecting en route with as many of our tours and guests as possible just to watch that discovery experience take place.
What gives you hope about the next generation of adventure travel leaders?
The travel industry, and particularly adventure travel, is fast-changing. The next generation is in a better position to adapt, make changes, and lead with vision and courage.
What is your advice for young adventure travel companies?
Learn from the best, then make your own mark. It’s so easy to get bogged down in the details of running a business. As a young entrepreneur, you need to learn early on what you love, what you’re passionate about, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Then learn the least you need to know about those details you’re not passionate about—maybe it’s finance, technology, or marketing—and find and develop people who can embrace their passion in those areas of expertise.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Sincere thanks to Shannon and the stellar ATTA team for their support and leadership in our industry. I’m proud to be connected with a global community of enthusiastic professionals ‘who dedicate their life’s work to transforming people and places through adventure travel.’