(SEATTLE) – August 25, 2010 – Surpassing its one-year membership growth record first established in 2009, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) in the past 10 months added more than 120 new adventure tourism members to its diverse portfolio of corporations united to responsibly develop adventure tourism throughout the world.
From Argentina to Australia and Venezuela to Vietnam, tourism leaders are joining the ATTA to access the steadily strengthening global adventure travel marketplace fostered by the ATTA since its re-launch in 2005. With more than two months remaining in the year, that brings the ATTA’s total community to more than 620 corporate members – entities that continue to expand the association’s geographic representation.
“Geographic diversification remains a high priority at the ATTA because it brings different perspectives, practices, opportunities and product to our global network,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “Whether insights are gained from ancient practices or cutting-edge solutions, listening and learning from adventure tourism professionals throughout the world contributes greatly to our ability to improve best practices, to raise professional standards, and to deepen our body of knowledge for the common good.”
Today, 71 countries are represented within ATTA’s membership which are compromised of the following categories: operators, agents and accommodations (65%); tourism boards, ministries and destination marketing organizations (9%); Industry Partners (21%); and Association Partners (4%). Within the tourism board arena, the ATTA counts 27 national tourism boards, including countries such as Norway, Belize, South Africa, Brazil, Namibia and Switzerland.
The diverse composition of ATTA membership helps ensure that the association’s vital network is preserved, while varied perspectives are considered when championing industry issues. Active participation across the ATTA’s membership categories has served as one of the hallmarks of its annual conference, the Adventure Travel World Summit, which is being held this year, October 4-7 in Aviemore, Scotland. At the 2009 Adventure Travel World Summit alone, more than 40 countries were represented by executive delegates representing all membership categories.
“I met 80 percent of my current tour suppliers at the Summit, and the others I have found on ATTA’s The HUB or through their referrals. Both have been invaluable resources, and I wouldn’t have as many itineraries and contacts as I have now if it weren’t for ATTA, The HUB and the World Summit,” said John Ricci, Owner, Wandrian Adventures. “Part of my business plan and success is predicated on working with ATTA members because they are in the ATTA.”
Ricci refers to the ATTA’s HUB, which is the exclusive online community for ATTA members, a site that also experienced significant growth in 2010. Today, more than 1,000 adventure tourism professionals actively use the site’s networking tools, professional development Webinars and forums to address and advance industry discussions.
According to Stowell, “In addition to expanding geographically, ensuring our network includes a complementary variety of businesses that represent the entire adventure tourism supply chain, and offering them the real- and digital-world venues to connect, is essential to being able to monitor and serve our industry’s viewpoints and interests worldwide.”
Between 1990 and 2004, the organizational structure, business mission and composition of membership varied greatly and membership had notably fluctuated, with most members based in the United States. In 2004, the ATTA temporarily halted operations, restructured under the leadership of Stowell, redefined its mission and re-launched in 2005 as a global organization dedicated to sustainable adventure tourism development efforts. Since that time, the ATTA membership has been on a steady increase from 150 members to today’s more than 600 members.
Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA (www.adventuretravel.biz) is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market. ATTA members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, specialty travel agents, guides, accommodations, media and service providers. Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit executive trade conferences (www.adventuretravelworldsummit.com), the ATTA also makes possible www.Adventure.Travel, the traveler’s hub of physical, cultural and nature-based adventure travel and guide to trusted tour operators from around the globe.
Chris Doyle, ATTA, 916.847.0261 [email protected]