ATTA rolls out consumer initiative

Adventure Travel Trade Association is launching www.Adventure.Travel, a new consumer-facing online directory for travelers interested in researching and accessing trusted adventure tour operators.
Featuring only pre-qualified ATTA members, the new site provides consumers with an
in-depth directory of physical, cultural and nature-based adventure travel tour operators from
around the globe, plus a host of trip planning resources.  The ATTA launched Adventure.Travel
in response to increasing demand for a reliable and credible online resource for consumers. 
“In a time where paid placement tends to secure top billing in online directories,
Adventure.Travel instead delivers high quality, trusted tour operator listings affiliated with a
respected global trade association,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “In this case, it’s not
about having the biggest directory, it’s about having the best quality resources to build confidence
among travelers.”
Adventure.Travel provides consumers with a starting place to find the adventure travel
service or product provider that matches their needs. A major difference between the ATTA’s
new consumer resource and other adventure travel online directories is that tour operators at
Adventure.Travel may not purchase their way to top listings.  Instead, participating businesses
rise in directory search rankings based on quality measures. Such measures include membership
in the ATTA, consumer reviews (launches November 2007), and eventually signed commitments
to pursue sustainable tourism practices (e.g., cultural, environmental and wildlife conservation
and protection) and adherence to best practices.  Individual tour operators will receive a rating
based on a rating scale. 

In late 2007, Adventure.Travel consumer review capabilities will go live, providing
customers the chance to rate and share specifics about the trips they’ve actually experienced.
Random site visitors may not place a review on the site; only previous clients of listed tour
operators may post reviews. Tour operators will have the opportunity to respond to, but not
change, client reviews. Reviews will be used by potential consumers to aid in their trip decision,
and used as a weighting attribute (one of several) within search engine results—higher ranked
companies appear higher within search results. Adventure.Travel site upgrades in 2008 will
introduce adventure resorts/lodges and specialty adventure travel agent and agency listings.
In addition to launching Adventure.Travel with the ‘.travel’ top-level domain because it
is easy to recall, it’s also part of a broader initiative within the travel and leisure industry to
deliver to consumers more precise online results to their travel queries.  ‘Dot-travel’ also provides
greater ease in purchasing from travel suppliers and helps to build trust among travelers because
businesses using “.travel” must establish proof as a valid and professional travel business.
  Supported by print and online advertising in the United States, Adventure.Travel site
visitors may browse and search by destination and activity. Search results include overview
profile information - provided by the operator and reviewed by the ATTA - about a select group
of ATTA member tour operators. Browsers may then link directly to the operator of their choice
to learn more, contact customer service staff or book a trip. ATTA receives no listing revenue
from tour operators in this directory.
Adventure.Travel is an initiative of the Adventure Travel Trade Association.  Key
sponsors include founding partner ExOfficio, along with W.L. Gore & Associates, which
provided major underwriting for the consumer initiative. Additional partners include Virtuoso
Active & Specialty Travel and Altrec.com. ATTA’s Adventure.Travel initiative has garnered the
interest of outdoor gear manufacturers and retailers because of the natural ties between the
adventure travel and outdoor gear industries.
“The GORE-TEX Brand is all about ensuring ‘the wearer’s experience’ - climate
comfortable protection that can master the extremes,” said Mike Adams of W.L. Gore &
Associates. “What better stage to showcase our brand than Adventure.Travel, where the
consumer goes in search of the ultimate experience?”
Hosts of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit, the Seattle-based Adventure Travel
Trade Association (www.adventuretravel.biz) is a strategic membership organization dedicated to
raising the profile of adventure travel globally. Established in 1990, the ATTA provides services,
knowledge, and connections that help its members succeed in their businesses and contribute to
responsible industry growth.
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