Every year, the Adventure Tourism Trade Association (ATTA) organizes a World Meeting where organizations, businesses and the media keep their watches up to date with the latest trends and challenges in the field. This year’s Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) was in Tuscany from 15 to 19 October, and the central theme of the event, Wellspring, talks about rediscovering the essence of adventures – the authenticity of the “spring,” connecting people with nature, more solutions for sustainability, adapting to new generations of tourists.
Bulgaria also had its representative in the face of Odyssey-in, the leading tour operator for adventure, cultural and specialized tours in Bulgaria, which is the only member of ATTA from Bulgaria. “Odyssey-in is a company that has always carried a mission to develop responsible tourism, to help local communities, to create a culture. We chose to be a member of ATTA, the world’s adventure tourism network, in 2010. It was the opportunity to meet with visionaries, access to analytics, the opportunity to meet top managers, “says its founder and owner Lyubomir Popiordanov. In his words cooperation with advanced businesses such as American, Japanese and Western tourism companies help build a standard for creating and managing tourism processes.
Given that Eastern Europe has been declared a “hot” destination for Adventurous tourism, participation by the Bulgarian side is not accidental. Some countries in the region are not represented at all – like Greece or Romania. On the other hand, the Western Balkans, Slovenia, Croatia, and even a small Moldavia have several representatives, some of them at state level.
Adventure tourism is the antipode of mass tourism, but it does not mean that it is a small business or that it should be perceived only as “niche”. Worldwide, according to ATTA data, this market is estimated at conservative estimates of $ 683 billion in 2017 and rising by more than 20% annually – just 5 years ago, the market valuation was $ 263 billion. This makes it the most dynamically growing sphere of tourism and beyond – it is developing faster than the global economy itself and by industries such as manufacturing, retail or the financial sector worldwide.