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World’s Largest Outdoor Sports Industry Gathering Gets Dose of Adventure

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ATTA’s Adventure Travel Hub Creates Stir at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Bridges Adventure & Outdoor Industries

Between feature story coverage in the trade show daily, advance social media work, email marketing, good old-fashioned Rolodex outreach to its extensive network within the outdoor industry, the ATTA and its destination and gear partners managed to make “adventure travel” one of the hottest topics of conversation at the world’s largest outdoor sports industry gathering between August 3-6 at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (ORSM) 2010 in Salt Lake City.

Bringing together the adventure travel and outdoor gear industries, the ATTA’s pilot trade show meeting space, dubbed the “Adventure Travel Hub” drew potential tourism partners from among the audience of more than 22,000 trade professionals. It was the first time that a tourism concept was presented at the show in its 30-plus year history.

Backing the concept through sponsorship were the tourism boards from Belize, Fjord Norway, and Montana, each of which presented a vast array of adventure tourism opportunities to a variety of manufacturers, retailers, and media which attend the show.

Hege Barnes from Innovation Norway noted, “It was a great experience, with some very exciting meetings that have made us pumped up about future opportunities for even better exposure of Fjord Norway. We had more meetings than I ever expected, and more really good ones than hoped.”

The attending tourism boards, and partners such as Briggs & Riley and National Geographic, were the focal point of evening happy hours at which grand prize drawings were held to draw attention to the tourism destinations, the Adventure Travel Hub, and opportunities for partnership. Hundreds of Outdoor Retailer attendees, passionate outdoor industry professionals, attended the nightly events while destination’s schedules were filled each day with meetings.

By all accounts, the tourism boards viewed the four-day event to be quite productive, due to the volume of meaningful one-on-one appointments that were scheduled, the significant drop-in attendance, publicity generated in print, digital and on the show floor, and the creation of potential marketing and promotional partnerships with outdoor industry brands. Partnership concepts included joint promotions to consumers, joint press trips, FAM trips to contribute to product development and testing efforts for gear manufacturers, sweepstakes, and more.

“We knew that powerful synergies between these two industries existed,” said ATTA Vice President of Business Development Chris Chesak. “To finally see these two dynamic communities come together, explore innovative partner plans and identify ways in which to jointly attract more potential customers was truly powerful. I anticipate we’ll soon witness many success stories sure to come out of these meetings.”

ATTA’s previous efforts to bring the outdoor and adventure travel industries together through individual, one-on-one partnerships resulted in several successes, including:

  • Marmot and Icelandair partnership resulting in a 4,000-word magazine feature and a documentary accepted at 20+ film festivals globally
  • Osprey and Montana Office of Tourism partnership that resulted in video and photo content featured on Montana’s websites (1,000,000 uniques/month) as well as Montana email campaigns (database of 50K+)
  • Kelty media trip to Iceland, including journalists from the New York Times, Outside, Health, Newsweek, National Geographic Adventure and others
  • 8,000 entries for a joint ExOfficio/Jordan Tourism Board sweepstakes
  • Complimentary destination trips for catalog product photo shoots, positioning the destination before hundreds of thousands of passionate outdoorspeople

With the pilot Adventure Travel Hub launch at ORSM behind them, ATTA’s next step is to expand the Hub’s impact at the 2011 Outdoor Retailer show while continuing to foster further individual collaboration between manufacturers, retailers and tourism brands.
“This is just the beginning,” added Chesak. “Next year, we expect to make a bigger impact on this event, garnering more attention for our destination partners and continuing to stimulate bigger and better partnerships between outdoor and travel gear brands and ATTA destination members.”

For more information how tourism boards and tour operators can get involved in these opportunities through ATTA, please contact Chris Chesak, VP of Business Development at [email protected].

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