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ATTA Expands Partnership Strategy, Outdoor Vet Joins Team

Responsibly growing the adventure travel community is the cornerstone of a new ATTA partnership initiative that connects corporate partners with tour operators, destination marketing organizations and tourism boards, & travel specialists...

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Adventure Travel Trade Association Adds Director of Business Development

Responsibly growing the adventure travel community is the cornerstone of a new Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) partnership initiative designed to connect corporate partners, media and service providers with tour operators, destination marketing organizations and tourism boards, and travel specialists globally to increase consumer participation in adventure travel.

To drive the new partnerships initiative, the ATTA appointed Chris Chesak to the position of Director of Business Development. Chesak, an eight-year veteran of building partnerships and sponsorships between companies and associations, will expand the ATTA’s efforts to further coalesce the adventure travel community into a more cohesive “industry” that creates bottom-line benefits for involved parties and adventure travelers.

“We can now provide effective and immediate access to companies interested in reaching out to our rapidly growing sector of the travel market,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “With renewed consumer interest in adventure travel, plus supplier and consumer research indicating highly promising growth estimates for the next five years*, the time is now for ATTA to build creative alliances that offer real and tangible benefits to our partners.
“Chris brings a strategic, collaborative mindset to the table,” added Stowell. “He thinks differently, finds the binding elements that makes partnerships work, and carves out unique solutions that help businesses grow, thrive, and attain specific objectives.”

In his prior work in the outdoor retail industry, Chesak specialized in forging corporate partnerships and organizational development. His past partnerships brought apparel, gear, and footwear companies like The North Face, REI, and Gore-Tex together with grassroots partners The American Alpine Club, American Hiking Society, and Winter Wildlands Alliance.

Building off his expertise, the ATTA has charged Chesak with creating stronger connectivity between the adventure travel, outdoor and other closely related industries. Plus, Chesak will look to incorporate other influential groups into the overarching partnership initiative including transportation (e.g., airline, auto, etc.) and relevant consumer brands (e.g., camera, travel/outdoor gear apparel, personal electronics, etc.), all while tapping service organizations (e.g., technology, Web, marketing, retail, etc.) with vested interests in the adventure travel market. He also will head up ATTA Membership recruitment initiatives.
“The adventure traveler’s consumer demo- and psychographics are respected worldwide and command attention,” said Chesak. “Bringing together what the consumer wants, what the adventure travel community can offer, and what associated companies can bring to the table, creates a powerful elixir that delivers benefit to all parties.”

The ATTA promotes its sponsors year-round through promotions to its hundreds of members and to its ever-expanding global database of industry professionals. ATTA sponsors benefit from the organization’s global and regional trade-only events, trade and consumer outreach campaigns, aggressive publicity efforts to promote adventure travel, industry research, Website and newsletter (AdventureTravelNewsâ„¢) exposure. Sponsors also reap benefits by inclusion in promotions and other synergistic opportunities with current partners, such as, National Geographic Adventure, ExOfficio, Eagle Creek, Adventure Central, and others.

New sponsorship opportunities have emerged in 2006 for the ATTA’s annual Adventure Travel World Summit ( events. For 2006, the Summit anticipates more than 400 adventure travel industry leaders will gather at Seattle’s Bell Harbor International Conference Center, October 19-21. Summit sponsorship opportunities include entire evenings of entertainment, program advertising, select meals and coffee breaks, signage and programs, cyber-café, speakers, gift bags, and more. Sponsorship benefits include promotion in national press relations, web and program logo presence, exhibit space, sampling opportunities, and complimentary passes for staff.

ATTA sponsor and member queries may be directed to Chesak at
Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA ( is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market worldwide. ATTA Members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, travel agents/agencies, guides, lodges/resorts/attractions, media, and service providers. Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit, the ATTA provides professional support, development, education, research, marketing, career building, networking and cost-saving resources to its members.
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*ATTA/Michigan State University Studies indicate that an astounding 92 percent of travelers have plans to take the same number, or more, of adventure vacations over the next five years (2006-2010) as they had in prior years.