Sustainability is key to adventure travel

With 1,300 members in 100 countries worldwide, the Adventure Travel Trade Association serves companies and organisations operating in the adventure travel industry around the world. We asked ATTA President Casey Hanisko about the association’s sustainability strategies.

The ATTA actively works with and supports destinations to combat overcrowding and nurture a sustainable approach to receiving travellers. Adventure travel naturally leads travellers to remote locations and it is necessary to conserve and protect these places at the start with thoughtful itinerary design and destination regulations and policies. Through our AdventureEDU and AdventureWeek programmes we help educate destinations, governments, and adventure providers on best practices and the long-term effects of travel.

How can tourism be a force for good in this respect?
Working with local communities to develop sustainable tourism models

ensures travellers can appropriately and meaningfully experience destinations. If local communities bene t from tourism, they’re more likely to protect the natural and cultural heritage that travellers want to experience.

Do you have some examples?
Natural Habitat Adventures was the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company in 2007. In 2011 it eliminated plastics across its operations and this year the company is running its first zero- waste adventure. G Adventures recently released the Ripple Score, which transparently reviews its own tours to help ensure the company has chosen appropriate local businesses and services throughout its offerings. Iceland and Palau now have responsibility pledges for travellers, Thailand temporarily closed several beaches and Faroe Islands have been “closed for maintenance”.

How is the ATTA leveraging ITB Berlin this year?
We will be focused on conveying the importance of utilising technology to steer towards a desired future for destinations as well as the changing landscape of destination management. We are holding our annual AdventureConnect networking event today where we will have an open dialogue about some of the challenges our industry is facing, from climate change to wildlife trafficking. And lastly I will speak at the CSR Networking event tomorrow about the Adventure Travel Conservation Fund

Hall 4.1 / Stand 214

Photo: Casey Hanisko, ATTA President