How America Outdoors helps its members learn, connect and grow their businesses

On Episode 14 of the Tourpreneur Podcast, host Shane Whaley finds out more about America Outdoors, especially it’s mission and how they deliver value to their members.

We chat with Executive Director Julie Kahlfeldt and longtime member Jeff Greiner of America Adventures Zipline Canopy Tours. This is no infomercial though, as we invited AO members to call in and share with us why they are AO members and how AO helps their tour/activity business.

Who and What are America Outdoors?

Since 1989, America Outdoors has worked to ensure outfitters (tour operators and activity providers in the outdoor recreation industry) have a voice.

Today, we are the one-stop resource for outfitters, leading the industry in public policy, business innovation, and promotion of outdoor recreational activities. Our members constitute a powerful community of like-minded people who aren’t just outdoors for a living – we’re in it for life.

America Outdoors

On this episode of Tourpreneur, we learn:

  • When America Outdoors was founded and why.
  • What type of tour and activity companies work with America Outdoors.
  • Why they use the term ‘outfitter’ to describe their members.
  • How America Outdoors saved Jeff ‘100s of 1000s of dollars’ through their advice on permitting.
  • How they help their members connect.
  • Six AO members call in to share with us why they value being an AO member.
  • How they help America Outdoors members to grow their tour and activity business.
  • How they help AO members learn from each other and experts. Some members even organize an exchange during low season so their staff can continue to grow and learn new things.
  • Shane shares why he feels everyone in tours and activities should be following (and listening to) Peter Syme.

  • More about their annual America Outdoors conference and why their members love it.
  • Jeff reveals why he loves the America Outdoors annual conference so much that he has not missed one in over 20 years.
  • What the most common challenges their members are facing.

  • How they advocate for tour operators in Washington D.C.

  • How much membership in AO costs.

  • Where listeners can find out more about America Outdoors. (Links are included below.)

Resources and websites mentioned on Episode 14 of the Tourpreneur Podcast.

Are you a member of AO? What do you get out of your membership? We can now continue the conversation on our new TourPreneur Facebook Group.

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