ATTA Announces Major Restructuring

The fast-growing adventure trade organization will create two new divisions By: Kenneth Shapiro
The ATTA is restructuring to facilitate future growth for the organization. // © 2017 Getty Image
The ATTA is restructuring to facilitate future growth for the organization. // © 2017 Getty Image

The Details

Adventure Travel Trade Association

Last month, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) announced that it will divide the organization into two divisions. One division will focus on membership and trade issues, while the other will continue to build events for the adventure travel industry and deliver strategic services and products for destinations and brands.

Why It Matters:
This move comes as a result of the growth the ATTA has experienced, and it highlights the increasing importance of adventure travel in general. According to the organization, the decision will allow both divisions to concentrate on being “a force for good within the industry” — one through a focus on membership and trade issues and the other with an eye toward strategic, sustainable adventure travel growth.

Fast Facts:
- As part of the restructure, current president and owner Shannon Stowell moves into the role of CEO, while Casey Hanisko, ATTA vice president of marketing and communications, is promoted to president of the business service division. Hanisko, with 20 years of experience in the travel industry, has been a leader in the strategic growth of the ATTA during her five-year tenure. 

- Luis Vargas will become president of the membership and trade organization. Vargas comes to the ATTA with executive experience from several adventure travel industry companies including The Clymb, Disney and REI. Vargas is also a recent ATTA advisory board member, active ATTA community member and ATTA event emcee.

What They Are Saying:
“Casey’s talent as an executive paired with her deep history in the adventure travel space make her the ideal person to oversee the day-to-day operation of our business,” said CEO Stowell. “For 14 years, we’ve moved from strength to strength, and I view her as supremely qualified to take the business side of the organization forward in our capacity and opportunity depth. And Luis is truly a perfect person to take the trade organization and membership vision and move it into the future. He’s a visionary and seasoned pro in a variety of related businesses, and has been advising us for years, plus the community already knows and loves Luis from his visible roles with the ATTA. I can’t imagine two better people to oversee the evolutions and revolutions of our beloved industry organization.”

“Our partners and community around the globe will benefit from this restructure as it allows the ATTA to maximize and expand our current successful events and continue to create and deliver business solutions that are activating positive travel industry progress today,” Hanisko said.

“It is a vitally important time to continue to convene, grow and empower a diverse set of stakeholders across the global travel industry community,” said Vargas. “We have both the opportunity and responsibility to be meaningful voices in the strategies and actions that will shape the health of business, industry, people and places.”

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