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We’re celebrating ten years of the ATTA this year and a new milestone this month has made it easier than ever to see how far we’ve come. In 2004 ATTA President Shannon Stowell took over an organization of the same name but changed just about everything else. Stowell breathed new inspiration into the re-tooled Adventure Travel Trade Association and has worked tirelessly for ten years to add members to this growing industry association, and on June 12, 2014, the ATTA gained its 1,000th member.
“This really is a momentous occasion for the ATTA and a testament to the dedicated work of the ATTA’s team, board, volunteers, and local advocates,” said Stowell. “It’s also proof positive of the confidence that the industry has in us now, having come from such a bleak initial place to earn the trust of 1,000 companies and organizations that have invested in the ATTA’s work for the industry.”
The 1,000th member was the LATAM Airlines Group, the name of the newly merged South America airlines LAN and TAM.
The milestone came just days before Stowell set out with ATTA Executive Director for Europe Chris Doyle on a motorcycle journey along the Wild Atlantic Way in Ireland. Doyle was the ATTA’s first employee and has been indispensable when it comes to encouraging new memberships and partnerships, especially in Europe. In anticipation of the Adventure Travel World Summit in Killarney, Ireland, in October, sponsoring organizations Failte Ireland and Wild Atlantic Way invited Stowell and Doyle to experience adventure all along the western coast of Ireland. In between scenic rides, they’ve been abseiling off a lighthouse, kayaking under the stars, coasteering in the cold ocean and “bog diving” in the black Irish mud.
“Working with destinations like Ireland is what we do best,” said Doyle. “We want to highlight the adventure potential that all destinations have when they are creative and open to what natural and cultural riches they have to share with curious guests.”
This creative and curious approach to adventure is what has attracted a thousand members to join the ATTA over the past ten years. Of course we are always looking ahead to our next adventure, but it’s been a nice month to pause and reflect on how far we’ve come so far.