What do you think the greatest opportunity ahead of you in the next few years is?

16 February 2012

Elín Sigurveig Sigurðardóttir - General Manager at Icelandic Mountain Guides
New markets, further afield and a better understanding of Adventure Travel. Iceland as a tourist destination is getting more and more known. Elements such as volcanic outbreaks and promotional efforts have put Iceland 'on the map'. This creates opportunities for Adventure Travel operators in the country. The Adventure Travel market is very important because according to research it's not as vulnerable as others to economic fluctuations. People are living longer than before, are healthier and demand for adventure travel is rising. Someone called it the Democratization of Adventure Travel. However, I don't think the tourism in Iceland has reached it's potential as an adventure travel destination. But 'the signs are out there'. So we remain optimistic.

Nicole Robinson - Commercial Director at &Beyond
Creating a loyal group of ambassadors and past guests who, through unbelievable experiences in the destinations we sell, continue to refer &Beyond to their circle of influence via the ever-increasing platform of social media.

Pepe Lopez - Manager at Apumayo Expediciones Peru
Consumers are looking more closely for what they want, plus more "specialist" travel.  More unique itineraries and programs which fit particular group and family member preferences, and once in a lifetime itineraries. Sales staff have to be creative and have first class customer service skills. Also active people are looking for a website that reflects that attitude.  As we work more with overseas-based tour operators, loyalty and personalized tours are very important for having repeat and recommended clients through them. We have to customize and be flexible a lot.

Rob Rankin - Managing Director of Vagabond Adventure Tours of Ireland
On a large-scale level it would be increasing flight access to Ireland, a growing adventure travel sector, an improving U.S. economy, growing awareness from the tourism boards here of the importance of soft adventure as a sector of the travel market. Plus the fact that we are well known and established now, its really something we are planning to build on.

I think if Ireland successfully wins their bid to host the ATTA Adventure Travel World Summit, then that will be a huge opportunity for Irish adventure travel and for all companies in the sector here in Ireland.

Jiří Mikulec - ETOURS TRAVEL (Czech Republic)
Provide central European tours for customers from India and set up new Belorussian adventure tours for EU/US customers.

Christian Wolters - Director, Sales and Marketing at Intrepid Travel Americas
Targeting older customers. Providing the same tours as others but offering slightly more comfortable accommodation and transportation. This demo has often more time and money. Rise of adventure travel with the family. Diversifying product line and offering new innovative ways to travel.

Marty von Neudegg - Director Of Corporate Services and General Counsel at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures

"Wanting" an experience is shallow and fleeting. Travel companies must be able to craft messages that touch people in meaningful ways.
There are millions of people who are looking for genuine experience in a world of "virtual realities."  Many of those people who are skiers, or mountain lovers have no idea why they should come to CMH and the mountains of BC. Our opportunity lies in how we can best convey the reasons why people need these experiences in their lives. "Wanting" an experience is shallow and fleeting. Travel companies must know why they do what they do. They must be able to craft messages that touch people in meaningful ways. Then they will have a flow of new opportunities that are based in shared passions and not just on selling more spaces.

Michael Mettler - Managing Director of Baumeler Travel Ltd.
1. People are focusing more and more on authentic, active journeys in pristine nature. This is what we have done since 1960
2. People are prepared to pay good money for good products. This is what we can offer.
3. People are choosing guided tours to meet people and learn from guides. This is why we train our guides year after year.

Ben Bressler - Founder & Director, Natural Habitat Adventures
Our biggest opportunity is clearly in gaining more exposure via the Internet. It takes a substantial amount of nose-to-the-grindstone work, and a substantial investment of dollars, but it's a great opportunity if we focus on web marketing.

Tim Jacox Executive Vice President, sales and marketing of InnerSea Discoveries & American Safari Cruises
The public's desire for more meaningful travel experiences--up-close, authentic wilderness experiences, small group travel, and including cultural elements.

Sally Dowden - Owner of Speyside Wildlife
Scotland is still a relatively unknown destination globally for wildlife watching, despite the variety of species and the unrivalled accessibility to the countryside, such a small and perfectly formed country affords visitors! This, coupled with the high level of expertise amongst wildlife guides, means there are numerous opportunities for guests to experience our stunning wildlife.

Angelina Fourkioti-  Incoming Sales Manager, Trekking Hellas Group of Companies
Keeping up to date with the trends. We need to always look for new, diverse programs that will suit the needs of each traveler we are serving. Keeping ourselves up to date with the current trends is vital in our global "village", where competition does not leave room for any mistakes.

Omar Samra - Founder & Chief Guanabana, Wild Guanabana
To continue to carve a niche out for ourselves that is defensible from the bigger and more established travel companies who will undoubtedly grow more fond of adventure travel going forward. We need to be more creative, more bespoke and ultimately offer better service; something that we are definitely poised to continue doing as a small family run company.

Jorge Pérez -  Tierra del Volcan
Use adventure tourism as a tool to change the world, or at least to head it in the right direction. Our planet is telling us that we can not keep up with these (extractive-industries) and consuming model; so tourism is a great way to make people understand that the most important thing is what you have lived, experienced and grown; not what we have. Tourism helps us see that we are one planet and help us to humanize the other.
The Adventure Travel World Summit is a great opportunity to get connected with the right people, to learn and to expand your mind in new way of thinking; and there is a great challenge to bring those new ideas to Ecuador and start opening the minds of other industry sectors about the importance of looking for a more planet-friendly model.

Sonja Gottlebe-Ranarivelo - Manager / Owner Boogie Pilgrim
Our unique biodiversity is world famous and the next Madagascar movie from Dreamworks will boost our destination again !

Bruno Toutain of Cyclomundo
We definitely see a trend among more and more people going for the experience - meaning that they'd rather buy and have less stuff but more lifetime experiences.

Douglas Simões – Pure Brasil Director
Media attention about Brazil, including the World Cup and Olympic Games.

Kate Reid Director, Call of the Wild Inc.
Call of the Wild's greatest opportunity ahead includes increasing our trip offerings to new destinations of interest to our clients, while staying true to our client desires – all women's real adventures.  We've been very successful fine tuning our product in the USA and are looking to take our trip style of 'Wild, Active and Aspirational' further abroad in the next few years.

Debbie Hendricks, Co-Owner, Just Roughin' It
Growth - we are entering more National Parks nationwide to offer backpacking and hiking trips, as well as potentially entering into more kayaking by acquiring another business.

Tiger Li, Founder, Diverse China
Chinese outbound travel

Claire Antell - U.K. Representative of Wilderness Explorers
Guyana is one of the least known tourism destinations in the world with nine indigenous tribes, and an amazing biodiversity as well as 80% pristine rainforest. There is a golden opportunity for tourism to preserve its communities, wildlife and ecology in a truly sustainable way that will preserve its rainforest for everyone on the planet.

Marie-Pier Mercier - Marketing Coordinator at Quebec Maritime
We have been fortunate enough to receive prestigious recognition for our regions from world famous magazines such as National Geographic Traveler, which included the Gaspé Peninsula in its 20 Best Trips of 2011 as well as rating the region the third most sustainable destination in the world in 2009. This recognition is very valuable and it is important for us to showcase it. Also, there is strength in numbers, which is why we value strategic alliances that help us promote our regions as top nature and adventure destinations. Working with partners such as Tourisme Québec, Parcs Québec, Parks Canada and Aventure Écotourisme Québec has been indispensable to the marketing of our tourism products.

Norman Howe -  President of Butterfield & Robinson
With  40+ years of experience, B&R has a wealth of local contacts and relationships to rely upon. We have established ourselves as a trusted travel provider who can create the best travel experiences in the business. With established practices for operating seamless trips, we can work with local hotels and operators to continue to raise the bar.

Steve Markle - Director of Sales & Marketing at O.A.R.S.
Our greatest opportunity over the next few years is the chance to earn a bigger piece of the travel market by strategically "getting the word out" about our authentic travel experiences, which allow people to disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature and loved ones.

Mandip Singh Soin FRGS, Founder & Managing Director of Ibex Expeditions Private Limited
To be able to discover newer products and areas in a geographically and culturally diverse country like India and market to what seems like the whole world that is getting increasingly excited about India.