ATTA and Travel Leaders created the Active & Adventure Travel Specialist program. // © 2015 iStock
By the Numbers
68.4%: Agents who responded that active/adventure travel has been a growing segment of their business*
1,000+: ATTA tour operator, destination management, accommodation and tourism board members
34.2%: Agents who said that active/adventure travel is “very important” for current sales*
$263 billion: The adventure travel industry’s current worth
$89 billion: The adventure travel industry’s worth in 2009
* Source: 2014 Travel Leaders survey of owners and managers
Last month, Travel Leaders and Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) announced that they signed an exclusive, three-year agreement to execute a proprietary specialization program exclusively for Travel Leaders travel agents. Among other perks, agents who complete the Active & Adventure Travel Specialist program will be featured on ATTA’s consumer-facing website.
In order to become a specialist, agents will have two years to complete 245 credits from a series of seven modules that demonstrate a range of background and skills. Content will cover topics in soft adventure, hard adventure and destinations.
“‘Soft adventure’ is growing quickly, and those kinds of trips can include walking, trekking, cycling, kayaking, safaris, expedition cruising and culturally immersive travel experiences,” said Perry Lungmus, vice president of Travel Leaders.
This is ATTA’s first program especially created for travel agents. According to Shannon Stowell, ATTA president, this has been a long time coming.
“There has been a historical disconnect with the agent and adventure tour operator community,” Stowell said. “We are hoping this will create a place for operators who would like to have agents as a distribution channel.”
Nearly 90 percent of polled Travel Leaders managers and owners stated they would be interested in “developing expertise and specializing in a segment of active and adventure travel sales."