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For several years, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has recognized the adventure tourism industry is dominated by small- and medium-sized enterprises and business (SMEs). These groups’ dependence on human and natural capital — along with their responsibility to provide safe operations — is what they require to be sustainable.
Thanks to its expanding membership community — which includes many SMEs — along with numerous destination and industry partnerships, the ATTA is recognized globally as a vital leadership voice for responsible adventure travel.
“No other travel association that aggregates best practice knowledge, and educates about safety and standards across multiple activities, exists within the global adventure travel space,” said Shannon Stowell, the ATTA’s CEO. “With this expertise comes a responsibility to share our knowledge across the industry as more destinations and businesses invest in developing adventure travel experiences.”
Beyond serving as the adventure travel industry’s conduit, the ATTA has provided training in best practices to adventure leaders from more than 1,200 adventure travel companies and delivered dedicated guide training to more than 100 individual guides working in the Balkans, the Caucasus, Japan and Jordan.
With this expertise comes a responsibility to share our knowledge across the industry as more destinations and businesses invest in developing adventure travel experiences.
The ATTA’s safety trainers helped to draft the standard for adventure travel safety for the International Standards Organization and have advised national governments in designing and implementing safety measures to guide growth in their adventure tourism markets.
Meanwhile, the ATTA has remained committed to helping mainstream travel providers and travelers grasp and maximize the benefits of traveling with local guides, enhancing travelers’ experiences and benefiting local communities and the natural landscape.
This level of committed training and education is necessary as adventure travel — once reserved for only the most skilled and affluent travelers — is now desired by and accessible to a much broader audience.
The industry’s expanded reach now offers an opportunity to communicate and further distribute the benefits that the ATTA’s research has shown adventure travel can provide: a business argument for conservation; an engine for economic development in rural areas with particular potential for young people and women; and the transformational effect that off-the-beaten-path travel has on travelers, who often return home with a fresh perspective on the world.
Airbnb AdventuresThis is one of the reasons why, in 2018, Airbnb reached out to the ATTA to advise the travel platform on the launch of its new adventure experiences. Airbnb Adventures are extensions of Airbnb Experiences, which are now being offered in more than 1,000 destinations globally with 30,000 experiences worldwide.
While typical Airbnb Experiences tend to be a few hours or a full day, Adventures are multi-day excursions that include an activity, lodging, and meals, and are often conducted in remote areas. The ATTA is advising Airbnb on adventure travel best practices, providing educational tips and research, and reinforcing the role safe and responsible delivery of adventure travel has as a competitive differentiator.
Today’s travelers show up for an adventure experience expecting to be outfitted by someone who knows how to lead them safely and responsibly in terms of their impact on the environment and local communities.
The ATTA views its partnership with Airbnb as an opportunity to raise awareness and build understanding for the unique and valuable services provided by adventure travel guides and companies.
“We also see this as a chance for us to continue supporting quality in adventure travel, by promoting learning in safety best practices far and wide,” said Christina Beckmann, the ATTA’s senior director for strategy and impact.
“Our affiliation with Airbnb is rooted in a shared key belief: that travel has the potential to make the world a better place,” Stowell said. “Today’s travelers show up for an adventure experience expecting to be outfitted by someone who knows how to lead them safely and responsibly in terms of their impact on the environment and local communities. We’re proud to be able to bring the expertise of our industry to a broader audience.”
The DetailsAdventure Travel Trade Associationwww.adventuretravel.biz