Recommended arrival day for delegates. All pre-adventures end on Monday, May 15 by 4:00pm at the Dead Sea.
Pick up your badge and conference materials at AdventureNEXT Check In at the Kempinski Hotel prior to the opening plenary session. You will be required to show your badge to enter all AdventureNEXT sessions, meals and special events.
Adventures in the Near East offer human-powered experiences in wild nature as well as a chance for spiritual contemplation and connection. In this opening plenary session, new pathways through this ancient territory reveal themselves through the eyes of three winning storytellers who have recently experienced adventure travel in Jordan. See this exciting world through their eyes and be inspired to capture the business opportunities in the Marketplace.
The AdventureNEXT MARKETPLACE features up to 50 inbound tour operators and accommodations from the Near East region with a spotlight on Jordan. It provides a focused setting to connect with potential partners, hold business meetings and promote adventure brands. A global delegation of buyers (outbound tour operators, wholesalers & travel advisors) and specialized media attend MARKETPLACE events as they facilitate high quality introductions and product development discussions.
Michael Youngblood is the co-founder of Unsettled, a company that takes remote workers on coworking retreats around the world. Providing everything the remote worker needs to live and work abroad, Unsettled is most notably a community-driven experience where everyone lives and works together as they travel. Michael will introduce us to a multi-billion dollar industry transforming the way the creative class lives and travels today. He says, “by observing and listening to trends on the fringe of industries that seem to be at odds with each other — such as work structures and travel in this case — we are able to identify new ideas and gain understanding.” Michael will share his academic and personal insights for how we can be more open to creative possibilities along with the resulting benefits from shifting our perspectives: new markets, new partnerships, and new opportunities.
This session showcases exemplary leaders and innovators from the Near East including an Egyptian entrepreneurs mentoring small businesses to success, a mountain climber from the United Arab Emirates who has built a thriving adventure travel company, and the Managing Director of “Power of People Initiative” from the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. Hear inspiring stories and unique perspectives about what is waiting to be revealed when we forge meaningful connections with local people. Their stories bring us closer to understanding the Near East, and encourage us to continue the work of seeking out and connecting with local resources in our work and personal travels.
Jordan has worked diligently over recent years to become the hub of adventure travel and successfully planted itself into the hearts and ‘bucket lists’ of travelers worldwide. As a region, the Near East’s cultural and natural resources offer options well beyond the desert landscapes and Bedouin culture that immediately come to mind. However, selling a new destination or incorporating new itineraries into travel catalogs can be a long and costly process. The Jordan Tourism Board and internationally recognized tour operators with experience selling this region will discuss the tools that are needed to ease this process and overcome any potential barriers like security perceptions. Intended for buyers and media seeking new stories from within the region, walk away ready to offer your clients new and exciting programs throughout Jordan and its neighboring countries.
Understanding the profile of today’s adventure traveler is at the core of tourism product development and marketing decisions. Tap into the latest market research on global international travelers in general and discover preferences and habits of adventure travelers originating from the United States. The ATTA’s VP of Marketing & Communications, Casey Hanisko, will uncover findings from two surveys of U.S. adventure travelers, illuminating traveler motivations, preferred activities and destinations, planning timeframes, trip spending, and how satisfied they are with tour operator services — all off which reveal strategic areas for product and market focus. Don’t miss this data-heavy session filled with valuable information gathered through proprietary ATTA research in partnership with Outside magazine and East Carolina University specifically focused on adventure travelers.
How can communities build resilience through local networks of small businesses? Whether adventure tourism focused or not, there is strong evidence that engaging youth in social entrepreneurship has many benefits to the community. In this session we’ll learn the key features of successful approaches to engaging youth and be inspired by the work of some regional youth leaders. Hear from an expert working on social entrepreneurship with youth in the diverse communities of Europe, and meet local young entrepreneurs exploring the link between tourism and social entrepreneurship in the Near East.
Owner, Black Mountain Montenegro & ATTA AdventureEDU Facilitator
Learn from some of the most inventive and creative minds in adventure tourism today about how best to take advantage of abundant adventure opportunities available in Jordan and the region. Whether your business is new to adventure or simply new to the region, this session is designed to inspire and spark new ideas as you listen and interact with representatives from regional companies who have brought their creative spirit and can-do ingenuity to adventure product development.
The first innovation we’ll hear about is The Jordan Trail: how it was created and the new business it is bringing to the region. A collective work of over 40 volunteers over six years, the 650 km Jordan Trail is a testament to the benefits of accessing local communities and the importance of perseverance. We’ll then gain insights from Experience Jordan, a pioneering company who has brought hiking and biking trips to the region and capitalized on the power of competitive events to bring new adventurers to Jordan, and constructed a lively and engaging way to bring locals and visitors together on active day trips and short excursions. These cases will be followed by a stimulating product workshop led by Jack Delf.
Intended for regionally-based travel providers and vendors, we’ll hone a set of soft skills during this dynamic session. Through group work and role playing we’ll discover best practices for sales across cultures including effective listening, anticipating customer needs, and providing adequate client communications. We’ll provide key tips to overcoming objections to the region, along with practical insights for handling common topics such as contracting and insurance.
Access regional case studies and learn how some businesses are bringing sustainability in all its forms to this historic area. These adventure businesses are pioneering sustainability across a range of issues from environmental to social and economic in this region. The ideas brought to life by this group of panelists will illuminate new ideas for overcoming common challenges to sustainable concepts and bring your own sustainability projects into sharper focus. Key takeaways from each case assure you’ll be able to translate the Near East experience to your home territory.
We close AdventureNEXT Near East with a talk from Tim Martin, who will share his perspective and suggestions on how we might best move forward with the relationships and impressions we have created over the past few days. In his far-ranging career as a Canadian diplomat, he has experienced the fundamental power and importance of interpersonal understanding, recognizing that at the root of dramatic change lies a network of trusting partners that cross political borders. The impact of our work as participants in a trade event goes beyond business: the relationships formed are the bridges to understanding that allow growth to occur.