SEATTLE — The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) announced Sept. 26 it will divide the organization into two divisions. One division will focus on the continued growth and mission of the membership and trade organization. The second division will continue to build dynamic and focused events for the adventure travel industry in addition to delivering creative strategic services and products for destinations and brands.
The decision to split the company allows both divisions to focus their strategies on being a force for good within the industry.
As part of the restructure, current president and owner Mr. Shannon Stowell moves into the role of CEO.
ATTA’s vice president of marketing and communications, Ms. Casey Hanisko was promoted to president of the business service division. Hanisko has been a leader in the strategic growth of ATTA during her five-year tenure. She has developed products, partnerships and marketing solutions to promote the business of adventure and support economic growth of communities developing adventure travel in their destinations. Hanisko has 20 years of experience in the travel industry.
Leading the membership and trade organization as president is Mr. Luis Vargas. Vargas comes to the association with executive experience from several adventure travel industry companies.
“Casey’s talent as an executive paired with her deep history in the adventure travel space make her the ideal person to oversee the day-to-day operation of our business,” Stowell said. “For 14 years we’ve moved from strength to strength, and I view her as supremely qualified to take the business side of the organization forward in our capacity and opportunity depth. And Luis is truly a perfect person to take the trade organization and membership vision and move it into the future. He’s a visionary and seasoned pro in a variety of related businesses and has been advising us for years. Plus the community already knows and loves Luis from his visible roles with the ATTA. I can’t imagine two better people to oversee the evolutions and revolutions of our beloved industry organization.”
Over the past few years, the organization has increased its number and type of events. It has worked more closely with new destinations in developing adventure tourism. Moreover, it has expanded its research partnerships. More concentrated focus within these two divisions of the Adventure Travel Trade Association will help increase and expand these opportunities even more.
“Our partners and community around the globe will benefit from this restructure, as it allows the ATTA to maximize and expand our current successful events and continue to create and deliver business solutions that are activating positive travel industry progress today,” Hanisko said.
Members can expect to see both leaders participate in ATTA events. And they will remain engaged with the growing membership. “It is a vitally important time to continue to convene, grow and empower a diverse set of stakeholders across the global travel industry community,” Vargas said. “We have both the opportunity and responsibility to be meaningful voices in the strategies and actions that will shape the health of business, industry, people and places.”
During this transition, Mr. Jason Reckers moves from managing director of the Adventure Travel Trade Association to chief operating officer. He has been with the ATTA since 2005. As COO, he will support the two divisions’ operating needs.
The membership and trade organization and business services division will be integrated closely and continue to work with current partners and members.