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.
Tour Operator: Conservation-Focused Nature and Wildlife Adventures
Headquarters: United States
ATTA Member since 2005
Introducing Ben Bressler, Founder and President, Natural Habitat Adventures
Tell us about Natural Habitat Adventures: Founded in 1985, Nat Hab is the world’s first 100-percent carbon-neutral travel company and conservation travel partner of World Wildlife Fund. We offer expertly guided nature and wildlife expeditions worldwide, with nearly 100 adventures on all seven continents. In addition to our immersive small-group sojourns featuring secluded experiences of wild places, we also offer specialty photo safaris, family trips, and custom or private travel options—all designed to offer life-transforming nature encounters for our travelers while benefiting local communities and inspiring them to protect natural habitats and the wildlife that dwells there.
Why have you stayed an ATTA member for 15+ years?
ATTA has been an integral partnership for Nat Hab. As an active, early member of ATTA, we’ve been inspired by the collegiality and synergy as we share common visions and best practices across the adventure travel industry — especially as we’ve sought to offer leadership on sustainability and conservation. It has been heartening to see the enthusiasm exhibited by ATTA’s leadership for conservation and responsible tourism practices, and we are proud to play a role in helping to further such commitments among member companies and partners.
How has your company changed over the last 15 years?
Most notably, we have grown both in the scope of our offerings and the number of travelers we serve and in our commitment to conservation (including leadership on conservation within the travel industry). We have enhanced our presence and impact in places where the economic infusion our travelers provide is making a genuine difference in the lives of local people. Through conservation-focused travel, we are able to offer economic support to better their lives while inspiring communities to protect the environment and the wildlife they share it with. In the past 15 years, Nat Hab became the world’s first 100% carbon-neutral travel company; we now offset all our travelers’ flights including from their home to our locations and back again; and we ran the world’s first zero-waste adventure to Yellowstone in 2019, again setting an example we hope others will opt to follow.
What is the greatest force that drives you to work every day?
It is Nat Hab’s commitment to continually raising the bar on conservation, both in our own operations and as a leader within the travel industry. I am proudest when we support local communities in a manner that motivates them to care about conservation because they can afford to—by bringing sustainable economic incentive through responsible tourism, which provides jobs, training, and education.
What gives you hope about the next generation of adventure travel leaders?
Today’s new generation of young leaders cares more about protecting the fate of the Earth than any that has gone before — because they have so much at stake. Given this, they are going to be deeply concerned with operating sustainably and protecting the wild and natural destinations that adventure travel tends to focus on. Nat Hab’s early leadership has blazed trails, but it is going to be the fire and passion of our up-and-coming younger staff that will take our commitments to the next level.
What is your advice for young adventure travel companies?
Recognize the growing desire for meaningful, experiential travel and provide opportunities that will inspire, educate, challenge, and captivate your guests. Travelers today want experiences that will enhance and transform their lives. Create and share those, and do it in a sustainable and ground-breaking way, encouraging others to follow suit.
Connect with Natural Habitat Adventures
- Twitter: @NatHab
- Facebook: @NaturalHabitatAdventures
- Instagram: @naturalhabitatadventures, https://solo.to/nathab, #NatHab
- Pinterest: @nathabpinterest