Meet your peers, hear opening remarks, and help commence the Adventure Travel World Summit 2018.
David Quammen opens the Adventure Travel World Summit 2018 with a personal reflection on our conference theme – Wellspring – and its meaning for our community. Adventure Travel is more than a business, of course; it is an aspiration, a set of responsibilities, and an ideal, with deep power to attract people from all walks of life. Quammen will share his own perspective on Adventure Travel as (in his case) a fundamental requirement of his four decades of work in journalism and books. He’ll also urge us to consider the big question: Why do people crave adventurous experiences in remote places? The reasons are many, but among the most fundamental, perhaps, is an itch to return to “the source” in some sense – the source of a river, the source of civilization, the source of humanity’s relationship with nature. The source of vitality and inspiration, the wellspring, that renews our joy in life and our sense of stewardship in this fragile world.
Quammen, as a noteworthy explorer and author whose works have explored the interconnections of science, human history, and nature, from the Congo to Komodo to the Russian Arctic and beyond, shares stories and advice for the people gathered together in Tuscany. He offers words of wisdom and inspiration for a community of strivers who are more than stewards of conservation, science, and culture, although this is certainly one of the most valuable gifts they offer. Beyond this, they routinely must provide inspiration to their guests, awakening in their travelers – millions of people around the world – to see themselves and their relationships with each other and the Earth differently. To be successful in this is perhaps our industry’s greatest opportunity and challenge, our true purpose which is so urgently needed at this moment in time.
Humans are born with an innate instinct for connection. Tribal culture, albeit altered in modern times, is alive in all of us. Yossi Ghinsberg, through his incredible experiences in the Bolivian Amazon and deep connection with the Uchupiamonas people, provides a fresh perspective on the concept of connection and its role in helping us find solutions to the complex environmental and human problems we face as a society today. Through Yossi’s inspiring stories, which have recently been brought to audiences around the world in the 2017 movie, Jungle, we see the power of interconnectivity in nature. Realizing that these connections contain the seeds of innovation and collaboration, they hold the potential to bring about the changes we need to see in our world. Urging us to see and act in our everyday lives to rely on our ultimate global interdependence, Yossi shares a moving vision for the adventure travel community.
Explore big-picture shifts in demographics, technology, geopolitics, and consumer values, and how they are converging to shape tourism’s future. With consumer experience at the heart of success, travel brands with consumer-centric strategies will become the most relevant players.
Alongside these macro-level shifts, rapid technological innovations are reshaping our industry’s traditional approaches to product, marketing, and distribution. As consumers continue to find new and easier pathways toward their desired experiences, adventure industry businesses stand to gain. How will players like Google, Facebook, and Amazon influence the adventure space? How will new partnerships blossom between small businesses and new innovators? In this dynamic moment, an opportunity for strategic thinking presents itself, one in which businesses can consider how best to integrate into this emerging landscape.
Hear from panelists at the forefront of analyzing and understanding the macro-level changes reshaping our industry — Luke Bujarski of LUFT and Caroline Bremner of Euromonitor — then learn from Caroline Boone of Airbnb about the opportunity adventure businesses have to join a global movement focused on empowering entrepreneurs. Digest this information with Arnie Weissmann, editor of Travel Weekly, as he leads a conversation capturing specific takeaways relevant to your business. This session includes time for questions from the audience.
This year’s Adventure in Motion film competition warms up with a light-hearted and interactive musical creation. Adventure veteran and historian Jean-Claude Razel, of Alaya Expedições, will tap into every delegate’s creativity with this imaginative, improvised musical creation. Join in the fun then sit back and enjoy a viewing of this year’s film competition finalists, submitted by your colleagues and selected by our voting committee and consumers. The session will conclude with a live audience vote to select the 2018 grand prize winner.
If you want to go where no man or woman has gone before, go to the inside. The next frontier of human exploration does not just lie “out there.” It also lies within ourselves. The coming decade will show us insights into what it means to be human that will surpass what we have learned in the last century. We are standing on the brink of the next human revolution where success will not be “more” but “better.” Not more customers, more stuff, or more experiences. But better. The rules of the game are changing. And no one knows what the future rules will be. If you want to create your own rules – this is your time! The future is hyper-complex and hyper-connected. In this enlightening plenary session, one of the world’s brightest futurists is here to teach us not only how to navigate the future, but how to shape it (and maybe even pass “the alien test”). Get ready for a fun, mind-blowing, and highly inspirational joyride into the future of adventure travel.
Since 2005 when he first addressed the adventure travel community at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Seattle, Washington, Shannon Stowell, now ATTA CEO, has been sharing his heart and his vision for this industry. Over the years he has helped lead our extensive global community and returns to the stage with the most relevant message for this time: we must join together and put everything we have into using adventure travel as a force for good. Tourism — a $2.3 trillion USD industry according to Euromonitor — is now accessible to unprecedented waves of people from all walks of life. Commercial adventure travel is the gateway into nature and local communities for many and because of this, we have an important opportunity: through our experiences, we must influence how people interact with the environment and each other. The connection our industry has to travelers is the key to scaling conservation to the massive degree required to change the course of life on Earth, and never before has this been more important.
In this inspiring and heartfelt call to action, Shannon calls on each of us to take specific measures in our business endeavors and through our communication channels to alter consumer behavior around the world.