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
ATTA Member since 2005
Introducing Alex Herrmann, Director UK & Ireland, Head Europe West
Tell us about Switzerland Tourism: Switzerland Tourism is the Swiss National Tourist Office with offices in 30 markets around the world and the head office in Zurich, Switzerland. Our main goal is to promote Switzerland as a travel, vacation, and convention destination. Working with the ATTA, we tell the story of Switzerland as the Adventure Capital of Europe - a small country in the heart of Europe which includes the most scenic and spectacular part of the Alps, where adventures from walking and e-biking to surfing and skiing to rafting and mountaineering - and many more - are easily accessible thanks to the world's densest, most connected public transportation network.
Why have you stayed an ATTA member for 15+ years?
In one word: the people. They are knowledgeable, open, and innovative professionals, reliable and competent, fun to work and be with. Plus ATTA provides a unique network of adventure travel professionals - tour operators, media, influencers. Also, the ATTA continuously reinvents itself by developing new platforms and events.
How has your company/destination changed over the last 15 years?:
Adventure travel has become a more important topic in Switzerland which is no longer regarded as a niche mostly for backpackers and the younger demographic. It is now understood that some sort of active or outdoor experience is the reason for travel for many segments of potential visitors, from golden agers to luxury travelers to groups touring through Switzerland. Also, sustainability is now a topic taken much more seriously.
What is the greatest force that drives you to work every day?
Having the chance to tell potential travelers about how they could be making memories in Switzerland - my home country. Also representing a country which everyone seems to love and everyone who's visiting is leaving happy.
What gives you hope about the next generation of adventure travel leaders?
Sustainability is at the heart of everything they do. They try new and different things. They love to travel as much as the previous generations.
What is your advice for young adventure travel companies?
Consider offering trips to more developed, established destinations. There the infrastructure already exists and sustainability procedures have been developed and tested. In Switzerland for example it's possible to access almost all sorts of adventures throughout the country by traveling solely on public transportation.
What gets you excited about the future of adventure travel?
Historically, travel started as adventure travel, and it's more popular than ever. The trend to slower, more active, and more immersive travel is good for travelers, the travel industry, and the planet. Plus, there is a next generation of adventure travel leaders out there.