Tuesday 5th of October is the AFAR exchange! This is the main time for meeting tour operators, reservation agents, experts and other similar business in other remote areas of the world.
This day meetings were organized by the ATTA – Adventure Travel Trade Association and sponsored by the AFAR magazine! (http://www.afar.com/)
The first part of the day was Media in the AFAR Exchange which was held in the Four Seasons Restaurant of the Macdonald Complex in Aviemore -Scotland! We were given the opportunity to meet the press from around the globe and present our destination in the international arena. We focused on creating exposure for the shire of la Vera as a responsible destination.
Some of the media that we contacted include;
- Deputy Editor and Travel and Business development for TRAVEL + LEISURE (http://www.travelandleisure.com/)
- Judith Fein Writer and Journalist in the Adventure Travel Industry. (http://www.globaladventure.us)
- Founder and President and Director of Strategic Partnerships of Green Living Project (http://www.greenlivingproject.com/)
- Public Relations for Sublime (http://www.sublimepub.com/)
- Martin Müller Journalist and Photograph for diverse German Magazines
- Managing Partner of Marketing and Publicity company: Myriad (http://www.myriadmarketing.com/)
- Senior editor at: National Geographic Traveller (http://traveler.nationalgeographic.com/)
- Jonny Jet from Jonny Jet website /Blog (http://www.johnnyjet.com)
- Ellen Barone from Ellen Barone website / Blog (http://ellenbarone.com/)
- Among others.
Note that not all these contacts where established only on this established time but also during the various days that we were interrelating with all the attendees of the summit. There were a number of opportunities to meet and get to know different people during the summit, on the lunches, breaks and not only the preset meetings.
After this session it was the AFAR Exchange were PURAVERA had a table at the event and the buyers (Outbound touroperators) where able to meet the suppliers (Inbound touroperators, us).
The meetings where organized by cris-crossing the 95 suppliers with the 50 o so Buyers that is outbound tour operators! Finally we were set around 15 meetings with a 15 to 20 minutes duration to fix possible itineraries that would be of interest to both parties from the ATTA Hub network.
We had the great opportunity to meet many people with interest in the Spanish market. Even though Extremadura was not well Known by the tour operators, we used the Spain tourism strength (thanks that some had trips already organized to the country) and presented the shire o f la Vera a s a new upcoming destinations, focusing on its natural, cultural and historical heritage and of course its food (gastronomy, culinary) to attract responsible tourism.
The strengths that we used to differentiate from the competition include:
- We benefited from the name of Spain in the tourism sector
- Touroperators know the quality of accommodation, security and the experience of Spain!
- We were the only representative of Spain! Very good as it s the first time a Spanish company is in the summit!
- Offer Package adventure activities with unique accommodations
- We focus on sustainability and the development of the region through responsible tourism.
- Adventure travel means a travel in the outdoors, with activities, natural, cultural gastronomical, adventure of any type but with a deep focus on maintain the historical heritage and developing economically the local region.
- We believe adventure travel is the future and even though today is not mainstream is where the tourism sector is moving and every day tourist lokk for unique experiences and look for new destinations.
- We offer the destination where Charles de V The emperor retired, great cultural and historical heritage.
- Offer natural habitats and a great destination for bird watching, among others.
- Gastronomical (culinary) offer is very diverse being the land of the Iberian Pig, among others.
Tour operators mainly demanded; one week to 10 day trip through the shire, with various activities (hiking, cycling, natural or cultural, among others) depending on the customer but mainly focused on moving along the shire to visit various areas in the trip!
Hopefully the trips and tours that we are organizing will be of interest and we will reduce of the main issues in the shire which is the seasonality of the tourism! International travels and more specifically adventure travel on different dates!
We are programming some seasonal tours on autumn for example related with mushroom picking, winter with the festivities of the area, spring with the blossom of the cherries or nuts and summer with the water activities that the shire offers! Among others.
Some of the companies we had the pleasure to meet during the AFAR include:
- Active Adventure Travel and Tours: http://activeadventuretravelandtours.co.uk/
- TravelDragon & The Dragon’s Path: http://traveldragon.com
- Alyson Adventures: http://www.alysonadventures.com
- Wilderness Travel: http://www.wildernesstravel.com
- J. Arnold Executive Search: http://www.jarnoldsearch.com/
- iExplore / Adventure Center: http://www.iexplore.com / www.adventurecenter.com
- KE Adventure Travel: http://keadventure.com
- Sublime Public Relations: http://www.sublimepub.com
- Mountain Travel Sobek – http://www.mtsobek.com
- Speyside Wildlife – http://www.speysidewildlife.co.uk
- Luxury adventure trips – http://www.luxuryadventuretrips.com
- Wild Guanabana – Life Changing Journeys: www.wildguanabana.com
- ATMS – Adventure Media Travel news: http://www.atmstravelnews.com
- Gray & Co – Cari Gray: http://grayandco.ca
- Smokesilver travel: http://www.smokesilvertravel.com
- The Wayfarers – http://www.thewayfarers.com
- Maritaca turismo: www.maritacaturismo.com.br
- Entre otros.
Here are some pictures of the event
In the afternoon the meetings continue:
Chris handing some information to Alice from the ATTA organization!
And we are also in the AFAR!
The strategic objectives accomplished include:
- Position the Region of Extremadura and the Shire of “Comarca de la Vera” as a reference on responsible destination.
- Promote sustainable accommodation in the Region and the Shire.
- Promote sustainable practices and activities in the nature which are socially responsible.
- Encourage the image of relax tourism of the Region.
- Strategic alliances with international tour-operators specializing in natural and cultural tourism.
- Contact with tour-operators specializing in hard and soft adventure and active leisure.
- Contact with media form the sector at an international level, facilitating the promotion in other countries.
- Contact with professionals of the sector in other regions and entrepreneurs with similar difficulties and expectations, share knowledge.
- Improve innovation procedures and measures in the company through the identification of best practices.
- Learn about best sustainable practices, real case studies.
These has been a very productive conference where we have been able to identify and create a number of associations and future collaborations to attract international tourism to the shire of La Vera with a focus to responsible tourism in order to promote the sustainable development of the region.
Understanding Adventure travel means: a travel in the outdoors, with activities, natural, cultural gastronomical, adventure of any type but with a deep focus on maintain the historical heritage and developing economically the local region.
Do you think this type of tourism can bring the sustainable development of the region?
Do you think Estremadura can become reference as a adventure travel destination?