ATMEX 10th Anniversary: ​​A Decade Promoting and Strengthening the Adventure and Nature Industry in Mexico

We are celebrating 10 years, wow! In November 2009, during the administration of President Calderón, his Secretary of Tourism, Rodolfo Elizondo Torres, saw a certain adventure traveler and businessman who had recently disembarked from the Hurtigruten, a Norwegian ship, in which he had just carried out the World Adventure Tourism Summit in the majestic fjords of that country, enter his office. About 450 people attended this event, all delegates from different countries of the world, with a common goal, to strengthen and professionalize adventure tourism on the planet.

The note, and the reason why this businessman went directly to knock on the secretary’s door the day after his arrival in Mexico, was that on that ship full of full delegations from at least 30 countries with a solid adventure tourism offer and nature there was only one Mexican. Determined, the businessman shared information about the caliber of the event and especially the experts from around the world who had participated. Secretary Elizondo, with his particular parsimony and sense of humor, answered me: “That’s good… and what do we do?”

The Secretary was clear that adventure and nature tourism was a specialized niche in which Mexico was not participating, but he confessed that as a country we did not have a directory of operators or an analysis of the competitiveness of the national product, so that was his first charge. And in 2009 we were able to carry out, together with Xola Consulting, the first National Diagnostic of Adventure Tourism. 

With the results of this diagnosis, and seeing the degree of competitiveness that existed in the country, we were bold enough so that, together with the CPTM, we sought to bring the Adventure Travel World Summit to Mexico. This is how in 2011 we managed to get Mexico to host this event, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. The event was inaugurated by the President of the Republic, Felipe Calderón. This was an unequivocal sign of the relevance of this sector for Mexico and the economic development of destinations that had been absent from the tourist economy.

As a result of the success of the Summit, the Deputy Director General of the Tourism Promotion Council, Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, commissioned Experiencias Genuinas to design and develop an event that would allow permanent follow-up to the Summit. 

This is how ATMEX, Adventure Travel Mexico, was born in 2012, with Veracruz as the first venue, with the theme “Opening the Gap” and with the support of the Adventure Travel Trade Association, which accompanied the event until the 2015 edition.

Ten years later, with ups and downs, and even with pandemics, ATMEX has managed to remain faithful to the original concept and mission: to strengthen and professionalize the national adventure tourism industry while introducing new destinations that historically had been overshadowed. for the power of the iconic destinations of Sol y Playa. ATMEX has become a benchmark and meeting point for more than 18,000 adventure tourism professionals in Mexico and Latin America. In the first 9 editions, more than 15,200 business appointments have been achieved between buyers, specialized media, and more than 6,000 national companies. who have attended our event. We have received 241 world-class speakers with specific and relevant content for our operators, 185 generators of specialized content representing the most important media on the planet, we have generated a direct spill that exceeds $6 million USD in the host destinations and we estimate having generated a value of more than $22 million USD per edition of new commercial alliances. It is not a small thing, but there is still much more to do.

Last year we launched the initiative entitled “25 for 25” with the aim of aligning the objectives of the various actors involved in the design and development of tourist destinations with a clear objective: to ensure that by 2025, 25% of tourists consume products from the adventure and nature segment, positioning Mexico as one of the leading destinations in this segment. 

This 10th edition of ATMEX is, without a doubt, a celebration of what we have achieved, but it is also time to stop along the way in order to raise our sights, adjust the sails and prepare ourselves for the next 10 years, seeking to contribute in a more powerful way , smarter and with higher impact results.

It is also the ideal opportunity to recognize the loyalty and commitment of guides, entrepreneurs and professionals in the adventure industry, the support and encouragement that each and every one of our allies, host destinations, sponsors and above all a team have given us. of titans who have been generating the magic behind ATMEX. 

In 2012 we began with the mission to open a gap and today we can confirm the path traveled and celebrate a decade promoting and strengthening the adventure and nature industry in Mexico.  So let’s take advantage of this ANNIVERSARY EDITION to applaud what we’ve done well, adjust what we need to improve and commit ourselves even more to our community.

We hope all of you will be part of this 10th anniversary edition of ATMEX. 




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