Adventure Travel Trade Association

Welcome to the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA)

"Unlocking the potential of outdoor and active travel to change the world."

Established in 1990, the Adventure Travel Trade Association is the largest global network of adventure travel leaders. Our community is made up of 30,000 individual guides, tour operators, lodges, travel advisors, tourism boards, destination marketing and management organizations, outdoor educators, gear companies, and travel media who share a commitment to sustainable tourism and belief that travel should be a force for good.

About ATTA

Fast Facts

  • Established in 1990, the ATTA is the largest global network of adventure travel leaders, made up of 30,000 individual guides, tour operators, lodges, travel advisors, tourism boards, destination, and marketing management organizations, outdoor educators, gear companies, and travel media in almost 100 countries worldwide, who share a belief and commitment to sustainable tourism.
  • The mission of the ATTA is to inspire, connect, and serve a global travel community to deliver experiences that protect natural and cultural capital while creating shared economic value.
  • The ATTA and its members agree to and strive to uphold our values in our community, including UNWTO’s Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, the protection of children, the responsibility standards put forth by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, and our community principles (respect, professionalism, safety, honesty, and integrity).
  • The ATTA also aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to provide a plan for all countries to concentrate their efforts in 17 areas to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all.
  • Adventure Travel News is the industry’s leading publication for the adventure travel industry, reaching over 30,000 subscribers every week.
  • The Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF) is a nonprofit providing funding, connections, and an international spotlight on projects that protect the cultural and natural resources which underpin the adventure tourism industry. The ATTA is one of several Adventure Leaders who founded the ATCF in 2016.
  • Adventure.Travel, powered by the ATTA, includes the best adventure companies and adventure stories so that travelers may be constantly equipped and inspired to travel the world. The platform is the voice of ATTA member travel businesses committed to the long-term, sustainable growth of adventure travel around the globe.
  • The ATTA is committed to addressing issues around a variety of initiatives: Climate Action; Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Women’s Leadership in Travel; Eliminating Single-Use Plastic Water Bottles; Indigenous Tourism; Developing Young Leaders; and Ending Wildlife Trafficking.
  • Incubated by ATTA, Tomorrow’s Air is a community of travelers cleaning up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere utilizing carbon removal technology with permanent storage.

Image: ATTA / Josiah Holwick - AdventureWeek Tierra del Fuego 2017

Our Mission

Our mission is to empower the global travel community to protect natural and cultural capital while creating economic value that benefits both trade members and destinations.

Image: Göran Assner // Gothenburg, Sweden

What We Believe

Travel and tourism make up the world’s largest commercial service sector, employing 1 in every 10 people on Earth as of 2018. Any type of tourism significantly impacts the economic well being of people and the environment. Dominated as it is by small businesses working in rural or wilderness environments, adventure tourism is even more dependent than other forms of tourism on human and nature capital. The protection and thoughtful promotion of these resources is crucial not just for adventure travel’s continued success but for the social, cultural and environmental integrity of any destination.

The ATTA community supports real efforts to address issues associated with tourism and travel. While no organization is perfect in its actions regarding responsibility and sustainability, we feel it should be the intent of every organization to move towards such goals.

Image: ATTA / Hassen Salum - Legado das Águas, Brazil

What is Adventure Travel?

"Adventure travel is for everybody. It opens up your senses. It breaks your routine in a positive way. It transforms people for good." - Shannon Stowell, ATTA CEO
  • Adventure travel is defined as a trip that includes at least two of the following characteristics: physical activity, interaction with nature, and cultural learning or exchange.
  • 76% of a guest’s adventure trip funds (approximately USD$2,280 per guest for an 8-night stay) remain in a local destination according to tour operators’ estimates in the ATTA’s 2023 Industry Snapshot Survey.
  • Adventure tourism, dominated by small businesses in rural areas and wilderness environments, has a deeper impact on human and nature capital producing 2.6 local jobs per $100,000 USD tourism receipts, compared to mass tourism, which produces 1.5 local jobs, and views the protection and promotion of these resources as central to its continued success.
  • Sustainability is inherent in adventure travel with its balance of economic development with local environmental and social needs while supporting the local economy, increasing the number and quality of local tourism jobs, respecting and enhancing community traditions, and preserving landscapes and biodiversity.

Leadership Bios

Shannon Stowell

CEO, Adventure Travel Trade Association

Shannon Stowell leads the ATTA as CEO after re-starting the organization in 2004 pursuing the vision that it could be a powerful force for good in the tourism industry. More than 25 years of business experience in adventure travel, e-commerce, outdoor retail, and environmental science have prepared him well to serve and head the organization. Shannon has been advising and speaking around the world for the last 13 years advocating for responsible adventure tourism as a powerful way for destinations to benefit from a business that sits at the intersection of commerce, conservation and community. He has served as a judge for numerous sustainability awards and programs and emceed ITB Berlin’s Corporate Social Responsibility day for the last two years.

In addition to his role as CEO, Shannon serves on two boards, the Corporate Advisory Council of the US Wildlife Trafficking Alliance, born in the Obama administration by then-Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund (ATCF). ATCF was co-founded by the ATTA and several other Adventure Leaders in the industry. Multiple Heads of States and luminaries have met with Shannon and been involved with ATTA events including the presidents of Chile, Mexico, and Namibia and he had audience with the King of Norway and the Prime Minister of Jordan- all interested in the power of travel done right.

Shannon has also been on the boards of both the Global Sustainable Tourism Council Board and the American Hiking Society. Shannon co-authored a book in 2008, published by National Geographic: Riding the Hulahula to the Arctic Ocean — A guide to 50 Extraordinary Adventures. He has also written several adventure travel articles published by National Geographic Adventure and continues to contribute to AdventureTravelNews, and other industry publications. He cut his teeth in tourism at his family’s restaurant in a mountain town in Colorado at the center of an adventure tourism economy.

Jason Reckers

COO, Adventure Travel Trade Association

Jason Reckers, ATTA’s Chief Operating Officer, oversees ATTA’s global day-to-day operations, working with the team on strategic direction and business management to support meeting the needs of members and partners. Jason joined ATTA in 2004 to drive the early development of the organization’s website and online strategy including AdventureTravelNews, Adventure.Travel, and The HUB. Prior to joining the ATTA, Jason was the President and CEO of PixelMill Inc. where he was responsible for partnership development, daily operations, and strategic direction of the company. Under his leadership, PixelMill contributed to the development of more than 65,000 web sites. Jason brought 15 years of experience providing web strategy guidance and training to professional services firms, trade associations, business and web consulting companies, and a host of industry sectors.

Over the years, Jason has helped launch ATTA’s online strategies, new events, development of products and services, and managed partner relationships and business development. A veteran of the Adventure Travel World Summit, Jason has presented as a speaker and panelist on topics ranging from Social Media, SEO, project management solutions, and online adventure travel product distribution. He also helps contribute to the development of tech-oriented sessions at the Summit and educational webinars.

Jason resides in Aptos, CA on the central coast of California, south of Santa Cruz. He enjoys walking the beach, hiking redwood forests, and adventuring with his wife and two children, including helping David develop his baseball skills and watching Alexa master her passion of natural horsemanship. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, Strategic Management from California State University, Sacramento.

Christina Beckmann

Co-Founder, Tomorrow's Air

Christina Beckmann is the Head of Tomorrow's Air, the world's first carbon removal collective educating, inspiring and uniting travel for carbon removal with permanent storage. She co-created the initiative with Nim de Swardt in 2018. With twenty years of experience in sustainable tourism, Christina brings expertise, creativity and a diverse network of relationships to support her work. A former management consultant, she has worked in more than 30 countries on projects for clients including national governments, philanthropic foundations, and local entrepreneurs with environmental sustainability at their core.

  • Mira Poling Anselmi - Vice President, Community. Mira is passionate about fostering connections between mindful people, building community, and empowering conscientious businesses. She works hard to be a champion for ATTA members, strengthening the ties that bind one to another, and helping to raise the industry as a whole.
  • Gabriella Stowell - Vice President, Regional Development. Gabriella started in ATTA as a Latin America regional manager in 2012. In 2017 she became the Latin America & Caribbean director and as of 2023 Gabriella started her current role as Vice-President of Regional Development, supporting ATTA’s community globally.
  • Gustavo Timo - Vice President, Growth & Product. Gustavo Timo leads global destination and product development for ATTA. He has been involved with adventure and nature travel for 27 years.

Initiatives & Research

As part of ATTA’s work within the adventure travel industry, we focus our efforts on social and environmental initiatives that have been identified as relevant in today’s world and more particularly to the adventure travel industry. We also engage in original and collaborative research projects, with the results available to the travel community for download or purchase.

Each of the following four topics have a dedicated program with their own set of goals focused on education, awareness, and impact.

Climate Action

The ATTA values include a responsibility to minimize negative impacts and maximize the positive benefits to the environment in its business operations. As an organization that manages global events; education and training; and destination promotion – all of which require significant worldwide travel by staff and industry members – the ATTA recognizes both the need to offset the impact on the environment, and the opportunity to lead through example of possible ways to do so.

As part of its commitment to Climate Acton, ATTA offsets its own staff travel and event emissions through its partnership with South Pole.

In addition to events such as the Climate Action Leadership Studio, ATTA’s Climate Action Strategic Initiative includes:

Image: ATTA / Josiah Holwick - AdventureWeek Banff 2019

Women In Leadership

In recent years the ATTA has seen an increase in the interest of Women’s Leadership within the travel industry. While we have discovered through research that the adventure travel industry is above average in most cases in regards to the perceptions and roles of women in the workplace, we feel that it is important to continue to shine light on the subject and reach equality.

The ATTA will continue its dedication to educating women and men around the complex issues facing people in the workplace; offering women opportunities as leaders and speakers; spotlighting businesses’ energy around diverse leadership; and crafting internal structure and educating our team on diversity.

Image: ATTA / Willa Kammerer - Women Leadership Studio 2017

Eliminating Plastics

As plastic waste continues to become a problem for the global environment, the ATTA recognizes its opportunity to effect change and become a community leader in eliminating single-use plastic water bottles within the adventure travel industry. As part of the initiative the ATTA will focus on travel trade and consumer audiences to collect data, create education, generate awareness, and collaborate with industry partners to develop programs offering a variety of solutions for businesses who are interested in eliminating plastics.

Image: ATTA / Garth Reckers - Torres del Paine, Chile

Youth Leadership

The ATTA believes it is important to engage the youth as a way to nurture and grow its next generation of industry leaders and business owners. Youth are a resource for fresh talent that is attuned to recent technologies and social dynamics which would enhance the adventure travel industry’s preparedness to work with the next generation of travelers. The ATTA is planning on a number of programs aimed at introducing the adventure travel industry to youth including but not limited to:

  • Recognition of up-and-coming individuals as entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers;
  • Public speaking engagements;
  • Event breakout sessions;
  • Increase in media attention through our own communication channels;
  • Engaging universities and outdoor programs to introduce career options within the adventure travel industry.

Image: ATTA / Lukasz Warzecha - AdventureNEXT Balkans 2016

Indigenous Tourism

The ATTA recognizes that tourism, when done well, has a great ability to provide positive opportunities for Indigenous community development. The travel industry has a tremendous responsibility to ensure that indigenous peoples are part of the economic equation of tourism that involves them and that the Indigenous communities visited are being respected and treated fairly, and that their ancestral rights, history, and cultural assets are being maintained. We believe it is an honor to provide Indigenous community experiences to travelers and that we as an industry has a moral obligation to strive to manage this relationship and experience as responsibly as we can.

Image: ATTA / Hassen Salum - AdventureWeek Panama 2018


For more than a decade, the Adventure Travel Trade Association has crafted events allowing a thriving community of thousands of adventure travel professionals to gather, network, learn, grow and partner. Through these events the adventure travel industry’s dedication to collaboration, sustainability and creative partnerships has spanned continents creating a global connected network. Adventure travel companies around the world benefit from event mainstays like Marketplace, MediaExchange, inspiring keynotes, dedicated networking time and of course adventure discovery in incredible destinations.

Adventure Travel World Summit

For more than a decade, the Adventure Travel Trade Association has crafted events allowing a thriving community of thousands of adventure travel professionals to gather, network, learn, grow and partner. Through these events the adventure travel industry’s dedication to collaboration, sustainability and creative partnerships has spanned continents creating a global connected network. Adventure travel companies around the world benefit from event mainstays like Marketplace, MediaExchange, inspiring keynotes, dedicated networking time and of course adventure discovery in incredible destinations. Discover and join your adventure community with the ATTA.

Image: ATTA / Hassen Salum - ATWS 2019


AdventureELEVATE is an annual three-day education and networking conference that brings together thought-leaders and practitioners from the adventure travel community for inspiration and regionally-focused insights into the trends that shape our industry year-round. Like our popular Adventure Travel World Summit, ELEVATE offers a perfect mix of high-value keynote speakers, actionable concurrent sessions on technology, marketing and operations, plus a unique opportunity to experience first-hand some of the adventures that our host destination has to offer.

Photo: ATTA / Charley Voorhis - AdventureELEVATE 2019


AdventureNEXT helps put emerging destinations on the adventure map. Countries or regions that want to position themselves as attractive for their natural or cultural resources or unique activities may host an AdventureNEXT, which will offer local suppliers the chance to present themselves to international buyers and media through a large Tour Operator MARKETPLACE and also by hosting adventure FAM trips. AdventureNEXT also has keynote speakers and workshops designed especially for regional issues and delegates looking to professionalize and expand their adventure product offerings.

Photo: ATTA / Border Free Travels - AdventureNEXT Near East 2019


Designed by adventurers for adventurers, AdventureWeek is a fully-hosted intensive familiarization trip (FAM), in which the ATTA partners with a destination to feature the best adventure travel products on offer. In addition to experiencing adventure travel in the destination, AdventureWeek participants — outbound tour operators, specialized travel agents and international travel media — meet with local operators and ground suppliers during two or three MARKETPLACES during the itinerary. A multimedia storytelling team comes along, too, to document the trip and promote the destination through photos and videos as well as social media exposure.

Photo: ATTA / BORDER FREE TRAVELS - AdventureWeek Japan 2019


ATTA’s AdventureFAMs bring together a vetted group of esteemed travel trade professionals (outdoor-focused tour operators, travel advisors, and media) to travel to a destination and experience a nature-based active itinerary. Destinations receive access to key markets as well as itinerary curation support, while tour operators, travel advisors, and media explore new destinations and experiences they are keen on developing or writing about.

Photo: ATTA / Hassen Salum


As a part of the ATTA's overarching mission to serve as the hub and facilitator for responsible, profitable adventure travel businesses, destinations and media, AdventureConnect events offer our vibrant communities a chance to connect, network and grow. These events are hosted locally in destinations or conferences where the adventure travel community naturally gathers. AdventureConnects range from casual networking to group outings to structured peer-to-peer or educational roundtables.

ATTA on The Road

In addition to its own events, the ATTA attends a number of key industry events around the globe. If your organization is planning on attending these events, our team looks forward to setting up a meeting and connecting in person.

Media Inquiries & Contact

Have questions or looking for a source or interview?

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