Inspired Adventure in Aviemore... Scotlandby Bike tour guru
I just returned from a trip to Scotland, and if you can believe, even though there were plenty of opportunities available, I never once got on a bike nor participated in any active adventure. What? Mr. DuVine Adventure - idle on a trip? How is this possible?
Well, I did uphold the three other DuVine tenets, I sampled the local fare, tasted an assortment of the local potent potables and, of course slept well. But I digress.
This trip was more about stimulating my business savvy, not my cycling muscles. I had traveled to Aviemore, Scotland to attend my 3rd Adventure Travel World Summit - seeking inspiration on how to continue to perpetuate and cultivate DuVine style and craft the type of experience my guests want. And to be honest, yet again, I found thisÂ summit to be particularly inspiring. (Apparently this year's theme 'Share & Inspire' lived up to its goal!)
Each year, the ATTA seeks out keynote speakers who can bring new thought, fresh dialogue, in-depth expertise and authentic and raw subject matter to the forum. The goal is to offer 'talks that inspire us, transform us, and can lead to heightened levels of innovation, creativity and productivity.'
Everyone in the travel industry (from tour operators, travel agents, tourism boards to travel writers and journalists) gathers to share ideas from their unique perspectives. Some of the topics this year included everything from the effective use of social media, examples and demonstrations on how to take front-page worthy photos, and the benefits and practices of sustainable tourism.
The summit is not only a forum for idea exchange, but also an arena to highlight strategic insights on core topics affecting the travel industry. It's also a great opportunity to casually hang out with fellow adventure travel like minded folk at the local pub and discuss ideas in an informal manner over a few pints.
The keynote speakers were chosen with the goal in mind that they would provide relevant ideas that could be employed immediately upon arrival back to the office. A sample of this year's roster of speakers included: Dr. Sakena Yacoobi who is Executive Director of the Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL), an Afghan women-led NGO she founded in 1995 to provide teacher training, education and health services to women and children; John Kasaona, the Assistant Director of Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation (IRDNC) who is a pioneer of community-based conservation - working with the people who use and live on fragile land to enlist them in protecting it. He is a leader in the drive to reinvent conservation in Namibia - turning poachers into protectors of species; Neil Fiske, President & C.E.O of Eddie Bauer LLC, who has served as President and CEO of Eddie Bauer LLC since June of 2007. During his tenure he has led the effort to bring the company back to its roots and reclaim its place as an American icon.
And that's to name but a few of the inspiring people selected this year. Two of my favorite take-away thoughts were: "If you can't imagine it, it won't happen" and "Ubuntu" [if you don't know the meaning of this African word, please look up its 'definition']
Unfortunately, I didn't get to cycle this area of Scotland, but I did spend some time with my fellow adventure travel colleagues in the local pubs sampling the beers and various types of Scotch, and returned with a plethora of great ideas on how to make everyone's (my guests, my staff, my friends and family) experiences even more DuVine in 2011 and inspire them change their lives in a positive way.