South America, Europe To Host ATTA 2008 Adventure Travel World Summits

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) today announced it will host two distinct Adventure Travel World Summits in 2008 on two continents. Each will: improve industry-wide access to networking; increase business-to-business marketplace opportunities; provide world-class learning and address regional business needs along with addressing common, global issues aimed at sustainable growth.
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(SEATTLE – The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) today announced it will host two distinct Adventure Travel World Summits in 2008 on two continents. Each will: improve industry-wide access to networking; increase business-to-business marketplace opportunities; provide world-class learning and address regional business needs along with addressing common, global issues aimed at sustainable growth.

ATTA's first Adventure Travel World Summit of 2008, the ATWS-South America (2008 ATWS-SA), will be held in São Paulo, Brazil, Sept. 3-6, in conjunction with Brazil's thriving consumer Adventure Sports Fair – which draws thousands of companies and expects more than 70,000 consumers. The 2008 ATWS-SA will strengthen ties between the South American adventure travel industry and the global marketplace.

Additionally, between October 21-25, the ATTA will hold the Adventure Travel World Summit-Europe (2008 ATWS-E) in Norway. Held aboard Hurtigruten's MS Midnatsol, an expedition passenger ship, the 2008 ATWS-E will be a voyage from Tromsø through Norway's fjords to Bergen. Special on-shore opening and closing events will be held in Tromsø and Bergen respectively, and the voyage includes a port-city visit in Trondheim.

ATTA will continue to host multiple regional networking events throughout the U.S. during the year and will investigate potential venues for a North American Summit in 2009 and beyond.
Geographically relocating its Summits in 2008 allows the ATTA to improve marketplace access to influencers throughout the greater adventure travel supply chain and help to call attention to important adventure travel hot spots around the world. As a global trade association, the ATTA is responsible to nearly 500 members: tour operators, destination marketing organizations and tourism boards, agents and other strategic trade association partners based in more than 40 countries worldwide.

For 2008, the two new ATTA Summits will bring North American adventure travel industry professionals to South America and Europe to further strengthen cross-continent connectivity, dialogue and growth. With the rapid year over year growth of the previous Summits, the events are also expected to have a strong draw of top professionals from other parts of the globe as well. The Summits will bring global visibility to the adventure destinations Brazil and Norway, both of which have been multi-year sponsor-partners of the ATTA and its World Summit events.

“Despite record bookings already registered by many of ATTA members for 2008, the industry is in ‘no-nonsense mode', especially with the mixed economic outlook worldwide,” said ATTA President Mr. Shannon Stowell. “Every organization invested in this sector should attend an ATTA Summit to access cutting edge innovations from within and also outside the travel industry which can be immediately applied to the growth and sustainability of their individual businesses. The Summits also provides an unparalleled opportunity to connect with other key professionals in the marketplace.”

With an emphasis on connecting buyers with suppliers of adventure tourism, each Summit agenda, in addition to multi-disciplinary sessions aimed at sustainable growth, will include a full day of structured marketplace appointments to meet demand for business development needs.

The 2008 ATWS-South America is co-organized by the ATTA and its Association Partner, the Brazil Ecotourism and Adventure Travel Association (ABETA), with support from The Tourism Ministry of Brazil and Embratur, Brazil's destination marketing organization.

According to Israel Waligora, ABETA President, “Brazil is very excited to host the Summit! We and our partners are preparing an unforgettable event, showing that Brazil and all of South America is the perfect arena for experiences that can fulfill the hearts and minds of adventure seekers worldwide. Brazil has a strong adventure and nature travel industry with a huge domestic market. Now is the time to show the world the best of what we have. Adventure tourism is a key strategy for conservation of our natural resources as well as involving local communities in the economic gains from tourism. We are proud to be the first country to receive the ATWS outside North America and together with other countries in South America we will strengthen the knowledge, the networking and the business of adventure travel in our continent and worldwide. ATTA is taking the Adventure Travel industry to a new level of connections and knowledge and the Summits are a key factor for that. We look forward to being a part of a spectacular event.”

The inaugural 2008 ATWS-Europe is co-organized by the ATTA and Innovation Norway, the tourism board of Norway, and partners, Tromsø, Bergen and Hurtigruten (formerly Norwegian Coastal Voyage).
“Innovation Norway is very proud and pleased to announce the support of the first European Adventure Travel World Summit,” said Hege Vibeke Barnes, Innovation Norway. “Norway is a natural choice based on its fundamental settings as a destination blessed with natural beauty, clean and unspoiled environment, and a conscious attitude towards sustainable tourism and environmental care. Working with ATTA and the adventure travel community is a very important part of our strategy to bring awareness to adventure travel opportunities and sustainable tourism issues. With the International Polar Year kicking off in Tromsø this past June, the World Heritage Awards granted the Norwegian Fjords, and the Geotourism Charter signed with National Geographic, Innovation Norway and its dedicated partners will do its utmost to make this summit an incredible setting for educational learning and networking, plus a lot of fun-filled great adventures. We welcome the delegates to Norway!”

Each event will focus on business disciplines that improve skills such as building strategic growth plans, operations, marketing, risk management, guide training, consumer relationship management, cash flow, and more. Distinct regional variances will accompany each agenda, including continental differences, audience needs, and matters relating to sustainable tourism.

Major Sponsors of the ATTA and both 2008 Adventure Travel World Summits include ExOfficio travel clothing, Men's Journal magazine, and W.L. Gore and Associates – makers of Gore-Tex. Key Sponsors include Adventure Central, Alpine Tourist Commission, Best of the Alps, Brazil, Chile, Innovation Norway, and National Geographic Adventure.

Early release Summit information is available at www.adventuretravelworldsummit.com. Delegate registration fees and special transportation and accommodation packages for each Summit will vary distinctly between each event. Additionally, each Summit will offer pre- and post-Summit FAM and press adventure excursions designed to showcase each destination. Pricing and ‘Early Bird' registration is available February 25, 2008.
Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA (www.adventuretravel.biz) is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market worldwide. ATTA Members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, travel agents/agencies, guides, lodges/resorts/attractions, media, and service providers. Host of the Adventure Travel World Summits, the ATTA provides professional support, development, education, research, marketing, career building, networking and cost-saving resources to its members.
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