Under the new leadership of Shannon Stowell, President, and Chris Doyle, Director, the Adventure Travel Trade Association has launched a series of new programs designed to promote the adventure travel market and deliver professional support, development, marketing, research, education and cost-saving resources to adventure travel companies.

Under this new leadership, the ATTA is emphasizing efforts to raise the profile of the adventure travel industry worldwide through critical research and analysis, alliance building, networking, and effective and timely trade and consumer outreach and education.

In addition to accepting new members, the ATTA is working to spur participation in the association to strengthen the collective voice and influence of the adventure travel industry. To this end, the ATTA is launching a new research initiative to better understand the current state of the industry.

“Learning, partnering, and growing is essential to our vision of sustaining and growing our industry,” said Stowell. “Our collective success hinges on sharing knowledge and resources and creating an environment of networking, critical thinking, and a genuine openness to discuss and tackle challenges. At the same time, we need to keep our sights set on delivering thought-provoking ideas and solutions that benefit business, adventure travelers, and the people and destinations upon which our industry depends.”

Partnering with Michigan State University, the ATTA is assessing and comparing adventure travel industry supplier and consumer perspectives of how “adventure travel” is defined. The new research will reveal information concerning industry growth and projections, segmentation of special interest activities such as cultural, environmental and educational travel. The study will also look at the availability of adventure travel products in international travel and tourism.

Initial survey research will be conducted at multiple travel and adventure travel trade shows, through Internet, direct mail and phone survey exercises through February with preliminary results reported and published at The New York Times Travel Show in March.

“Niche markets that create excitement and challenge for travelers will continue to earn travel budgets,” asserts Dr. Christine A. Vogt, MSU Associate Professor. “This study of adventure travel will refresh our current understanding of this category and provide insight to travel operators, destinations and ultimately consumers who travel for physically, mentally, and culturally exciting experiences.”

The ATTA also plans to lay groundwork to undertake publicity and marketing campaigns dedicated to promoting an overall increase in consumer participation and diversity in adventure travel.