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Putting Alberta on the map for adventure travel

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AdventureELEVATE, hosted by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), aims to spark fresh ideas for those in the tourism and travel industry.

Over 300 delegates, representing marketing destinations, suppliers, tour operators, and travel media, attended AdventureELEVATE earlier this month in Lake George, New York. 

“Representatives from countries all over the world attend, including Peru and Australia, who are the forefront of adventure travel,” said Cameron Wood, Manager, Business Development, Global Projects at Travel Alberta. "Alberta is in a unique position to amplify adventure travel given our amazing seasonal experiences."

ATTA says businesses in the adventure travel sector, will continue to report growth: more than 70% of responding tour operators to the Adventure Travel Trends Snapshot Survey report say they are growing; more than 40% of those indicate that the reason for growth is new travellers.

Here’s three learnings from AdventureELEVATE to help you spark new ideas: 

1. Build relationships with specialty tours operators. 
Wood says meeting with specialty adventure travel operators is not an opportunity that comes around very often. 

“Today’s travellers prioritize authentic experiences, they want to do more than just observe. Having the opportunity to speak with these operators allows me to introduce them to these new products and experiences travellers are looking for,” says Wood. 

2. Think sustainably 
ATTA and its members all share a vested interest in the sustainable development of adventure tourism. Wood says speakers discussed building sustainable trips and getting travellers to understand their footprint while travelling. Some things you or your business can do are provide portable water filters, get rid of single use plastic, hire local guides and vendors and respect wildlife and their habitats to maintain the natural ecosystem. 

3. Be more spontaneous 
Lastly, Wood says “find more ways to be spontaneous.” AdventureELEVATE speaker Lee Kitchen of Innovation Catalyst addressed how spontaneity impacts fresh thinking and creative problem solving. 

“Whether it’s snowshoeing, or adventures in the Badlands, finding inspiration from brainstorming and stepping out of our comfort zone, can be a great way to identify new ideas for your business,” says Wood. 

AdventureELEVATE is an annual North America-based intensive educational and networking conference that brings together thought-leaders and practitioners for inspiration, education and insights into the trends that shape our industry year-round. Visit their website for more information.