ATTA Members Comprise More than Half of National Geographic Adventure's "Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth"

(SEATTLE) Forty-three of the 72 adventure tour operators named in National Geographic Adventure's February 2009 cover story (print edition), "Best Adventure Travel Companies {on Earth}", are active members of the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA). National Geographic Adventure surveyed 248 companies representing paddling outfitters, trekking guides, safari specialists and companies around the globe that offer a collection of adventure travel experiences. According to Adventure, the feature represents, "A comprehensive ranking of the world's best outfitters &endash; surveyed, sorted and scored." In analyzing the leading adventure travel specialists, Adventure considered factors such as environmental awareness, sustainability, reliable service, local knowledge, safety practices, spirit of adventure, client satisfaction and other variables in ranking the travel providers.

"Focused attention and scrutiny by media sources on adventure travel, a growing sector of the overall travel and leisure market, are helping travelers find progressive, high-quality companies more easily," said ATTA President Shannon Stowell.

Since its re-launch in 2005, the ATTA and its members have collaborated more frequently at global conferences, regional meetings and through Webinars to unify, professionalize, promote and responsibly grow the adventure travel market worldwide. Beyond media reports on travel providers such as those found in Adventure's feature story, independent, third-party organizations such as the ATTA with its Web site (launched in 2008 as an educational resource for adventure travelers) have undertaken efforts to help people make more educated choices when seeking and selecting quality tour operators.

"It's a top honor to be recognized, we're thrilled NGA is committed to finding the world's top adventure travel companies," says John Sheppard, director of REI Adventures. "It's surveys like these and the momentum that the ATTA has built that help to pull the adventure travel industry together and challenge us to be the very best for our guests and the earth."

ATTA Members featured in the National Geographic Adventure compilation, most of which are also profiled at, include:

• Alaska Alpine Adventures &endash;

• andBEYOND &endash;

• Austin-Lehman Adventures &endash;

• Backroads &endash;

• Big Five Tours & Expeditions &endash;

• BikeHike Adventures &endash;

• Boundless Journeys &endash;

• Butterfield & Robinson &endash;

• Ciclismo Classico &endash;

• Classic Journeys &endash;

• Country Walkers &endash;

• Cox & Kings &endash;

• Deeper Africa &endash;

• DuVine Adventures &endash;

• Escape Adventures &endash;

• Exum Mountain Guides

• Geographic Expeditions &endash;

• International Expeditions &endash;

• Journeys International &endash;

• KE Adventure Travel &endash;

• Kensington Tours &endash;

• Micato Safaris &endash;

• Mountain Travel Sobek &endash;

• Myths and Mountains &endash;

• Natural Habitat Adventures &endash;

• Nomadic Expeditions &endash;

• O.A.R.S. &endash;

• Off the Beaten Path &endash;

• REI Adventures &endash;

• ROW Adventures &endash;

• Scott Walking Adventures &endash;

• The Wayfarers &endash;

• Thomson Family Adventures &endash;

• Thomson Safaris &endash;

• Trek Travel &endash;

• Tui Tai Adventure Cruises &endash;

• VBT Bicycling Vacations &endash;

• Volcanoes Safaris &endash;

• Wild Frontiers Adventure Travel &endash;

• Wilderness Scotland &endash;

• Wilderness Travel &endash;

• Wildland Adventures &endash;

• Zegrahm & Eco Expeditions &endash;

Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA ( is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market worldwide. ATTA members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, travel agents/agencies, guides, lodges/resorts/attractions, media and service providers. Host of the ATWS, the ATTA provides professional support, development, education, research, marketing, career building, networking and cost-saving resources to its members.

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