The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA;www.adventuretravel.biz) announced the return of its North-American event,AdventureELEVATE, in 2016. The two-day conference will be held in Saguenay, Québec, June 6 – 7, 2016. Last year’s inaugural AdventureELEVATE was held in Snowmass, Colorado, and brought together thought-leaders and practitioners in the adventure travel industry.
AdventureELEVATE 2016 will build on what was started last year but continue with the theme “Adventure Means Business” — bringing in keynote speakers and concurrent sessions that will deliver on business-related themes showcasing the economic and social value of having strong and strategic adventure organizations. Educational sessions are currently being developed and may include the topics of mobile applications for adventure operators, funding opportunities for small- to medium-sized businesses, rural tourism development as well as social media, market research and travel agent relationships.
“The Adventure Travel World Summit is our flagship event with a strong global focus,” said ATTA’s North America Strategic Director Russell Walters. “With AdventureELEVATE, we’re trying to hone in on the education and best practices needed in North America to position adventure travel as an attractive contender to the dominant force of mass tourism. We’re talking about a graduate-level education here that can really shake things up in the U.S. and Canada.”
The two-hundred and fifty delegates to AdventureELEVATE will be mostly representatives of North American-based tour operators, travel advisors, media and outdoor gear companies. But there will also be international tourism boards and destination management companies from Europe and Latin America attending as well looking to connect with North American adventure businesses and media.
The Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region of Québec was chosen to host AdventureELEVATE in part because it hosts the province’s largest concentration of adventure related businesses, as well as a college and a university offering programs in the outdoor and tourism fields. There is also inspiration to be found in how the area reinvented itself using adventure travel: moving from an economy centered around extractive industries to a place to enjoy the outdoors. With four national parks in the surrounding area and its location on one of the longest fjords in the world mean there is ample opportunity for both hands-on adventure activities and a large potential for industry growth due to the region’s size and diversity.
“By hosting AdventureELEVATE we, of course, want to raise the awareness of our destination in the North American market,” said Patrick Bérubé, Directeur du Créneau tourisme d’aventure et écotourisme. “We also want to be recognized as a place where quality and innovation are paramount to our success.”
Innovation and quality will be topics of concern at AdventureELEVATE, as other destinations and tour operators look to regions like Saguenay for both inspiration and practical advice on how to transform destinations and businesses into successful adventure operations.
Registration for AdventureELEVATE 2016 is now open. Partnerships are also available.