Home-based travel agents who specialize in adventure travel or are interested in learning more about the niche can take advantage of new face-to-face networking programs offered by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA).
The programs, called AdventureConnect, are an outgrowth of the ATTA’s AdventureDrinks, casual networking gatherings that the group started in 2011 to bring together agents and suppliers who specialize in adventure travel.
“We were hearing real demand globally for more face-to-face, regionally organized connections that offer similar relationship building, professional development opportunities, education and adventure activity exposure as our regional meetings and the Adventure Travel World Summit,” said Casey Hanisko, the ATTA’s vice president of marketing and communications.
AdventureConnects are scheduled in North America on Feb. 12 in Denver, Feb. 14 in San Francisco, Feb. 19 in Seattle and Feb. 20 in Vancouver. The Namibia Tourism Board is sponsor of the three U.S. events.
Hanisko said that the ATTA’s goal to “offer a chance for travel agents to meet international outbound tour operators, local operators and suppliers, accommodations as well as media who specialize in the adventure travel industry. It opens the door to learning about new activities like e-biking, canyon jumping and cultural, wine and hiking tours as well as destinations that are emerging on the scene or traditional destinations that are reinventing or rebranding themselves and/or offering more activities that clients are asking for, like biking, voluntourism, hiking and cultural or food tours.”
She added: “An additional benefit is the understanding of the wide gamut of what is defined as adventure travel. A client may say to you, ‘I want to go do something adventurous’ or ‘I want to really experience a destination.’ By being exposed to the community, travel agents will have a variety of answers to those questions and begin to meet the needs of their clients and potential clients.”
Networking is the key to boosting travel agent business, especially in the adventure travel field, Hanisko said.
“Developing strong relationships with the media can help an agent receive visibility or meeting with industry partners that offer interesting solutions to business problems may result ultimately in cost savings or more revenue. And of course, there’s access to tour operators who would love to work with travel agents and market their trips to their clients.”
For more see www.adventuretravel.biz.