As adventure travel professionals flip their calendars from 2018 to 2019, the forward-thinking community already has its eyes on this year’s Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS). Hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), the annual adventure travel event will be held 16-19 September in Gothenburg, Sweden — and industry insiders are already buzzing with excitement about a fresh destination, engaging speakers, and the event’s trusted Marketplace.
The Summit is an annual event that creates movements and supports initiatives within the travel industry as it moves collectively toward a sustainable future. The 2019 event promises to serve as a powerful platform for these purposes while encouraging the community to consider its role in preserving and conserving the natural environment in which it works. The Swedish word omtanke, which implies caring and consideration, carries a strong relationship to the notion of respect for all things and is at the heart of the 2019 theme, Omtanke, The Way Forward. Delegates will see this concept reflected in educational opportunities, community conversations, and local adventures throughout this environmentally conscious nation during the World Summit.
“Every Summit location offers us a new inspiration, and we consider the destination deeply when determining a theme that will drive our content,” said Casey Hanisko, president of the ATTA/Adventure 360. “This year Omtanke, The Way Forward. was naturally right. Sweden’s word for caring embodies the community that gathers together each year, bringing respect for each other and for the planet that offers us the natural playground in which to adventure, with it and each other.”
Since registration opened for the 2019 Summit, the ATTA has seen an early surge in interest in the event. More than half of the tables for the one-on-one Marketplace networking event have already been purchased, and more than 200 delegates have already registered for the Summit (view delegates who will be attending).
From mountain trails to waterways, delegates can explore many of the country’s active pursuits during Pre-Adventures throughout Sweden and Day of Adventure in West Sweden. “We are really looking forward to showcasing Sweden’s beautiful and close-to-nature lifestyle for the participants at the Adventure Travel World Summit,” said Ewa Lagerqvist, CEO of Visit Sweden. “They will get a chance to experience unique and accessible nature adventures across the country, such as hiking, biking, and paddling with the help of experienced companies with deep roots in the area. Sweden is at the forefront of sustainable development and hosting the Summit allows us to develop even more sustainable nature tourism experiences.” Gothenburg, which is situated right by the ocean in the heart of Scandinavia, is encircled by rocky shoreline, lush forests, tranquil lakes, and the sea to the west. This Swedish city offers easy access to nature, and adventure is never far away.
As the adventure travel industry continues to discuss innovative sustainability solutions, the 2019 Summit theme and community collaboration in West Sweden seems particularly fitting because of the sustainable nature that runs throughout daily life. “Until recently, Sweden has labored to effectively stimulate enthusiastic, widespread engagement of its nature-based tourism community for a greater purpose,” said Gothenburg-based Chris Doyle, ATTA executive director, Europe and Central Asia. “Throughout 2018, the imminent arrival of the Adventure Travel World Summit in West Sweden seems to have changed that, inspiring even higher levels of commitment toward collaboration, quality, innovation, and sustainability than I’ve seen over the past decade — and that’s saying something, given that Gothenburg and Sweden consistently rank among the top global performers in both sustainability and innovation.”
Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) today is widely recognized as a vital leadership voice and partner for the adventure travel industry around the world. The membership and trade organization is designed to be a force for the industry and exists to drive thought leadership, industry promotion, and opportunities to network and convene globally to create trade and business health. It currently serves more than 1,300 members in 100 countries worldwide. The constituency is made up of tour operators, tourism boards, specialty agents, and accommodations all sharing a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism. Through its growing business services division, the ATTA delivers a portfolio of strategic solutions and a robust ecosystem of events around the globe. With specialized expertise in research, events, education, media, and promotion, the ATTA business service division is able to provide valuable solutions to a broad set of partners across many verticals of business.