Recent research published by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)indicates 87 percent of tour operators working in the adventure travel industry currently work with travel agents (also known as travel advisors). This population of travel-related professionals is a valuable asset to the industry, with 63 percent of tour operators experiencing growth through the agent channel.
An AdventureELEVATE session will invite both travel agents and tour operators to discuss ways the two parties can empower each other.
The research report, Travel Leaders Companion Survey Digest, notes tour operators value the fact travel agents offer a new sales channel, distribution through a trusted network, access to new clients in desired markets, and a personal touch to the client relationship. And it’s not just tour operators that find value in this partnership: Research conducted by Travel Leaders Network in 2018 indicated 86 percent of travel agent respondents experienced growth in their adventure travel sales over the past three years.
Despite the natural fit for travel agents within the adventure travel industry, this demographic makes up only 10 percent of the ATTA’s membership.
Recognizing the importance of travel agents within the adventure travel context, the ATTA will host a session during AdventureELEVATE 10-12 June 2019 in Lake George, New York, specifically geared toward advisors. Adventure Accelerator: Travel Advisors in Adventure will be a small group discussion designed to generate concrete ideas on how advisors can succeed within the adventure travel arena.
“A healthy tourism industry includes a positive influx of well-qualified, trained travel advisors who also prosper from the growing demand for international travel. My goal for this session will be to encourage positive and provocative dialogue focused on actionable outcomes, tackling the biggest issues facing the tourism industry today, and travel agents’ role as thought leaders and influencers,” said Deirdre Campbell, managing director for Canada at Beattie Tartan and the session’s facilitator.
Introduced during Adventure Travel World Summit 2018, Adventure Accelerators are designed to get delegates thinking about big-picture challenges with an eye toward developing achievable goals. Limited to 20 delegates, this session empowers travel agents and tour operators to discuss how they can more cohesively communicate and work with each other, and both groups will be encouraged to brainstorm ways to invite travel agents to become more involved in the adventure travel sector.
“With the ATTA’s research indicating the growing demand for increased personalization and visitors seeking better service and destination expertise, and with concerns around safety, travel agents are well poised to lead in the development of a global tourism industry that drives positive change,” Campbell said.
Adventure Accelerator: Travel Advisors in Adventure is intended for travel advisors and those who work closely with them. AdventureELEVATE delegates not attending this particular discussion will have ample opportunity to network with travel agents and other delegates throughout the event.
“In my view, the key to successfully building advisor-supplier relationships comes down to the development of a true, trusted partnership. The elements of that partnership go way beyond a simple transactional attitude to include understanding and protecting one another’s businesses, respecting the traveler relationship, and a commitment to cooperatively cultivating new sales,” said Perry Lungmus, vice president of the Travel Leaders Network and an ATTA Advisory Board member. “The most successful adventure operators we work with understand the rewards of cultivating an advisor partnership mindset throughout their organizations.”
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.