ME companies encouraged to join global adventure group
THE Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) has “less than a dozen” members from the Middle East, according to Chris Doyle, director of ATTA.
“We’re eager to expand our connections with the region – in fact, we’ve contacts (and some members) from the greater region - Pakistan, Egypt, Kurdistan, Qatar, Jordan, Dubai and others. This is a nascent region for the ATTA’s growth, but one that we find to possess strong opportunity, despite the obvious challenges.”
He said that the association was gradually growing its network through its presence at travel trade events, and was particularly eager to continue opening up dialogue and collaboration with countries within the Middle East.
“We’ve a lot to learn about the region and will continue to invite our friends from the Middle East to join our organisation, contribute to our world class events and play a role in shaping the adventure travel industry.
“The adventure travel potential of the region is vast – from a physical activity standpoint, but even more, from a cultural and heritage perspective, few destinations worldwide parallel the potential there. The current geo-political climate remains a key barrier, most particularly for the US traveller.”
Gateway to Egypt is a member of ATTA. Manal Saad Kelig, partner and sales and marketing manager of the company found that belonging to ATTA had opened many doors for them.
“This networking is invaluable whether for connecting with new partners or learning about new destinations,” she said. “The last ATTA summit Whistler 2007, offered many educational opportunities on the new trends of the adventure travel market and also the profile and features of the adventure traveller and what they will be looking for in their future trips.
“There were also very informative sessions on voluntourism which is a growing sector of the travel industry that travel companies need to learn more about.”
The aim of ATTA is to centralise the adventure travel market and become 'the hub' of this industry. It is a networking, marketing and resource focused membership association representing more than 500 worldwide travel related companies. ATTA also organises the annual Adventure Travel World Summit due to be held in North America in October this year.
by Cheryl Mandy