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ATTA HOSTS REGIONAL MEETING

2012 Adventure Travel World Summit, new developments and more, discussed at ATTA Toronto Regional Meeting
06-20-2012  By: Zachary-Cy Vanasse
Ursula Beamish, manager media relations, North America, Switzerland Tourism; Meredith R. Guzy, business development, ATTA; Chris Chesak, vice president business development, ATTA; Mirko Capodanno, manager, Canada & Central U.S.A., Switzerland Tourism & Urs Eberhard, executive vice president markets & MICE, Switzerland Tourism
Ursula Beamish, manager media relations, North America, Switzerland Tourism; Meredith R. Guzy, business development, ATTA; Chris Chesak, vice president business development, ATTA; Mirko Capodanno, manager, Canada & Central U.S., Switzerland Tourism; and Urs Eberhard, executive vice president markets & MICE, Switzerland Tourism

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) held its regional meeting in Toronto on Tuesday afternoon to update members and potential members on the association, and the upcoming 2012 Adventure Travel World Summit to be held in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Held at the Marché Restaurant in downtown Toronto and co-hosted by Switzerland Tourism, the event also gave regional ATTA members the opportunity to network with one another and share ideas.

The association is made up of more than 750 members (organizations), which include tour operators, agents, tourism boards, media, accommodations, industry partners and more. Once an organization has joined the ATTA, member benefits are extended to the organization’s entire staff.

Chris Chesak, vice president business development, ATTA
Chris Chesak, vice president business development, ATTA
During his presentation, Chris Chesak, vice president business development, ATTA, outlined what the association has done in the past, its current projects and member benefits.

“Member benefits are, of course, networking, there is the HUB (the ATTA members online community), the Summit – which is our annual conference – and regional meetings such as this,” said Chesak.

“One opportunity that a lot of members don’t take advantage of, but they should, is if there is anyone that you ever want to talk to that is another ATTA member, but you haven’t met them yet or they are not in your area, just let us know. We will send an email on your behalf saying that this person would like to meet you, this is their website, here is what they do, would you liked to respond? Etcetera.”

New for ATTA

According to Chesak, ATTA is doing more work with journalists around the world and bringing its members products to journalists’ attention.

“We are doing more and more outreach to travel shows to get discounts so that our members can get, say, 10 per cent off on a standard booth... and that has been working very well. We’ve also been reaching out to some financial services companies...to see if we can get you some discounts there,” said Chesak.

In addition, the credit card company NexGen has begun working with some ATTA members to help them save on credit card processing fees, resulting in savings of up to 20 per cent on those fees.

ATTA is also looking to establish a formalized program to facilitate mergers and acquisitions for its members.

2012 Adventure Travel World Summit

To be held in Lucerne, Switzerland this year, the 2012 Adventure Travel World Summit will take place from Oct. 8 to 11. This year’s summit is expected to draw 600 adventure tourism professionals from more than 50 countries.

The ATTA is offering pre-summit tours throughout Switzerland to people who attend.

The summit will open with a day of adventure in and around Lucerne; followed by a day for the marketplace; followed by two days of key note speakers and break-out sessions on a variety of topics; and new this year, a media breakfast where suppliers and buyers can meet with members of the media to discuss what they have on offer.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Taleb Rifai, secretary-general, UNWTO; Rob Torres, managing director of travel, Google; Alexandra Cousteau, co-founder, Blue Legacy and granddaughter of Yves-Jacques Cousteau; Jim Leape, director general, WWF International; and Darrell Wade, CEO, PEAK Adventures.

“We may even add one or two more in the future,” said Chesak. “We have a line on a couple of key note speakers we are pretty excited about but we don’t have them confirmed yet.”

“After the summit there might be some other destinations in Europe that might offer some post-tours as well,” he added.

The event concluded with more networking and a toast from Bernadette Hunkeler Brown, consul general of Switzerland in Toronto.  

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