Adventure Travel World Summit 2019
My five day Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS) with some 700 delegates (and no single use plastics) in Gothenburg opened my eyes to a country I hadn’t given much thought to and a country I fell in love with.
“Don’t disturb, don’t destroy” is the rule that allows anyone in Sweden the freedom to roam anywhere they wish and this is just one glorious example that reflects the country’s love of nature.
Included in the five days was a pre-summit adventure. From 39 activities I chose the 20 km cycle around Lake Asunden and a visit to Torpa Stenhus, a castle of extraordinary history that was built around 1470 and is still in the ownership of the same family. In fact we had a fascinating talk with the present owner who continues the huge responsibility of looking after this medieval pile. The bike ride of which 15 of us took part was broken up with the famous ‘Fika’ translated as ‘a coffee and cake break’, but really it is much more than that. Fika is a concept, a state of mind, it means making time for friends and colleagues to share a cup of coffee (or tea) and a little something to eat, usually a cinnamon bun. So Scandi!
Adventure day over and the work began. Think speed-dating. Exchange business cards and then twelve minutes to sit and talk to
operators selling their wares. I inadvertently ended up on a table with a delightful gentleman selling the Himalayas. “Sadly not our product”, I informed him. He said not to worry but let’s just chat about the Himalayas anyway. Eleven minutes later I had fallen in love with Katmandu and its surroundings!
Two days of meetings throughout the day punctured with some brilliant talks, one that remains is Beau Lotto using the principles of neuroscience and adventure risk taking
The ATWS made sure we were continuously well fed with lunches, teas and dinners at the conference centre held in the Clarion Post hotel in central Gothenburg. And you needed the fuel. One of the journalists everyone was in hot pursuit was Tim Neville who writes for the New York Times and much else but I discovered he was in pursuit of me having read my book The Quest for Frank Wild, a story that he was entranced with and in particular with the fact that it was through Frank Wild that Ice Tracks was born. It is one of his next writing projects.
Meeting Judy Carvalhal Founder and CEO of Enchanted Expeditions was another highlight. Her foresight and passion for the Galapagos, her extraordinary knowledge and her two much loved vessels the Beluga and Cachalote Explorer are the foundations of our partnership.
I was sorry to leave Gothenburg and promised to return to Sweden, a country of lakes and forests and truly delightful people. It is a country we are planning on sending our loyal and loved clients. Next year the ATWS will be in Adelaide, Australia, who will get the gig? Caro or me?