SEATTLE, 18 September 2019: The Adventure Travel Trade Association has hired Taleb Rifai, former secretary-general of the UNWTO as a special advisor.
Rifai, a two-term secretary-general of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), has extensive experience in developing and leading sustainable tourism models. He will now turn his hand to supporting adventure travel through ATTA a global association, particularly in the Middle East and North Africa.
“Rifai has served the global travel community for decades at the highest level and, during that time, exhibited incredible leadership, thoughtfulness, and care, said the ATTA CEO, Shannon Stowell. “We couldn’t be more thrilled that he chose to lend his incredible vision to the ATTA”.
Rifai served as secretary-general for the UNWTO from January 2010 through December 2017. His focus in the position was on the travel and tourism industry’s contributions and responsibilities in a rapidly growing and changing the global environment.
Prior to his work with UNWTO, Rifai held a number of other esteemed positions, including assistant director with the International Labour Organisation, several ministerial portfolios in the Government of Jordan, CEO of Jordan’s Cement Company, director of Jordan’s Economic Mission to Washington, DC, and director-general of the Investment Promotion Corporation in Jordan.
As a special advisor to ATTA, Rifai will provide guidance and vision to ATTA’s work, starting with the MENA region around the momentum created by three years of AdventureNEXT in Jordan.
“Adventure tourism is not just simply exercise. You can do that at a gym. Adventure tourism is to be totally engulfed by your surroundings, and adventure has no age limits. At 70, I am still ready for an adventure. It is truly the future of tourism. ATTA, therefore, represents the future of travel and tourism,” said Rifai.