Faces of Bhutan
Runaway Photo: Faces of Bhutan
August 16, 2013
Cactus in Villa Rica hill, Veracruz, Mexico
Chachalacas – Veracruz, Mexico
August 30, 2013

ATMEX 2013 Recap

Veracruz Mexico ATMEX 2013
Veracruz Mexico ATMEX 2013

Fred Crema from Brazil giving talk at ATMEX 2013

 

This August, Veracruz hosted the second annual Adventure Travel Mexico event for more than 500 attendees from around the world. I was invited to attend ATMEX 2013,This four-day event was followed by various FAM trips around the country, and was filled with inspiring sessions and networking with passionate travelers.

 

Positives

 

Sustainable adventure travel destination: Mexico

ATMEX 2013 clearly delivered the message: Mexico is a great place for adventure travel. Starting from Veracruz, the host state, other Mexican destinations brought their best game to the trade show. Because of its rich and diverse environment, there are plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy in Mexico, from soft to hardcore adventure. As our Veracruz tour guide, Mexico, (his name is Mexico) said, he could bring us to any place for any kind of outdoor activity we wanted: kayaking, rappelling, rafting, mountain biking, sand boarding, zip lining… you name it, it’s there.

Another focus of ATMEX was reminding us the importance and necessity of sustainable travel. While we are using nature to build our businesses, we should always remember that protecting the environment is one of the most important responsibilities we have.

I came to ATMEX without knowing much about the country. Certainly, I didn’t think of it as a key destination for avid adventure travlers; however, my perceptions have changed after a week of adventures in Veracruz. Surely I did learn a lot, and now I have much greater understanding about Mexico.

 

Great beach of Villa Rica

Beautiful Villa Rica

 

Keynote speech – Namibia

Keith Sproule, the Tourism Business Advisor with WWF in Namibia, made an impressive keynote speech on Namibia. It was one of the highlights of ATMEX 2013. It stirred up excited among people who are already going. Namibia represents a tremendous wildlife restoration project—perhaps one of the greatest stories yet, as the WWF said. There are still problems to solve, but the protected region is expanding. Moreover, Namibia’s great success is affecting nearby countries.

ATTA’s next world summit is going to be held in Namibia. I met a number of people who booked their tickets to the summit after the speech. I’ve heard the programs are going to be amazing, and I can’t wait to hear how the summit goes in October.

 

ATV on the sand dunes of Chachalacas

ATV on the sand dunes of Chachalacas

 

Great crowd

I loved the energy in the room. Among the several travel/ media gatherings, but I have to say, this ATTA event offered the most pleasant networking for me. Unlike other functions, networking didn’t feel like a duty or a burden. There were people from various different professions and field, and most of them offered a piece of knowledge. Everyone I met was truly inspiring, passionate, and just awesome. I can hardly wait to meet all of these individuals again at the next ATTA event. Maybe people are pleasant and energetic because they are active, and always out in the sun?
 

Market place

The booths in the market place were well set up to navigate easy. It was well mixed with tourism boards and independent companies. There was a good mix of cultural, and destination displays. Some of the booths had quite a presentation with adventure gear and decorations. Mexico City brought their city tour bus, Chiapas set up an inflated dome for the slide show, and one of the Veracruz adventure tour companies brought every kind of adventure gear you could think of.

 

Our Chachalacas pre-tour group

Our Chachalacas pre-tour group

 

Areas to Improve

 

Schedule

People said this was the ‘Mexican way’. I can’t tell if that’s true since I’m not so familiar with what’s the norm. However, I can tell that what was printed wasn’t really important here. Most of the schedules including meals, ceremonies, and sessions didn’t start at the intended time.

 

Dream catchers at the market place

Dream catchers at the market place

 

FAM Trip

Even though I enjoyed my FAM trip to Chiapas, I still think they should’ve canceled it when they knew there were less than 3 people registered. Myself and Julia, a tour agent from Veracruz, were only ones on the trip. Because none of the members on the tour spoke English, including the person who was assisting the trip from Chiapa’s OCV, I couldn’t get much information out from the three day trip. A third of programs on the itinerary didn’t happened, and I never understood why. Perhaps it was my fault for, not to speaking Spanish, but I expected someone from the official tourism board would help me to understand their state better.

 

Learning how to rappel at Finca Argovia

Learning how to rappel at Finca Argovia

 

Communication

I understand ATMEX 2013 was a big event, with hundreds of attendees and dozens of staff, but I think the communication between each team was a lot worse than I was expected. Arranging flight ticket continued until four days previous to departure, hotel information got lost in the middle, the check out date was one day earlier than my flight, and they told me to figure it out myself. It all worked out at the end, but it was definitely unnecessary stress. However we had a great support team (Aaron, thank you) who responded quite quickly during the conference.

 

Over all, I think ATMEX 2013 was a great success. Can’t wait to see what will they bring next year.

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Juno set off for the wider world to pursue her passion for travel and storytelling. She traveled the world as an award-winning travel blogger and photographer, witnessing the everyday life of different cultures. Currently based in Anchorage, Alaska and exploring this amazing Last Frontier. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Instagram .

9 Comments

  1. andi says:

    I wish I could have gone with you and then I could have been your translator! 🙂

  2. […] It was my second time visiting Mexico, and first time in Veracruz. I was invited to attend ATTA’s second annual adventure travel show in Mexico, Adventure Travel Mexico (ATMEX) 2013, so I flew a half way around the globe. Total 8 flights were involved from Mexico and back to Asia, but the trip was amazingly worth it. I’ve learned a lot about Veracruz and Mexico and met amazing people. You can read more about the event from my ATMEX 2013 Recap post. […]

  3. Ahh, that sounds like your schedule was on South American time, i.e. mañana mañana. 😉

  4. Federico says:

    Interesting recap. By the time I learned about this event it was too late to sign up … I may have missed something but not much from what you say?

  5. […] because I was the only international visitor (lack of communication – as I mentioned it on my ATMEX 2013 Recap), but no explanation was necessary to enjoy stunning nature.  Here are the photos of amazing […]

  6. […] fortunate enough to associate with the ATTA members through different functions, including recent ATMEX 2013 in Veracruz. You can feel the energy of group almost instantly, and I could feel positive, energetic, […]

  7. […] I was a guest at Finca Argovia as a part of ATMEX 2013 FAM trip. However the opinions are reflecting my own, not […]

  8. […] I was a guest at Finca Argovia as a part of ATMEX 2013 FAM trip. However the opinions are reflecting my own, not […]

  9. […] familiar? You’re right. I went to Chiapas this time last year as well. (Here you can read the recap of ATMEX 2013.) But this year, I’m going with more responsibility. I’m attending ATMEX, Adventure […]

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