South African mountaineer Cathy O’Dowd has been living in Andorra for 16 years. She was the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest from both sides and more recently was a member of the team that did the first ascent of Nanga Parbat via the Mazeno ridge. In May 2016 she will be undertaking a ski ascent of Mount Logan, 2nd highest peak in North America.
Cathy is an acclaimed international speaker, focusing on building high performing teams when operating under intense stress in the face of high risk and overwhelming challenges. She has shared her insights with corporate audiences in more than 40 countries on six continents.
She is the author of Just For The Love Of It, a New York Times bestseller about her Everest expeditions. She is a passionate rock climber, alpinist and ski mountaineer, who loves to share the stories of her experiences through speeches, writing and photographs.
For more information visit http://cathyodowd.com
. Twitter @CathyODowd. Instagram @Cathy_ODowd
3rd March, 16:00 – 17:45h
Best foot forward for the hiking industry
The presentation will provide an overview of world of hiking internationally. It will consider broad trends in the last decade, looking at who is participating in hiking and why, and where the areas of growth have been. It will highlight various developments that have brought more people in to the market, from the growth of photo-driven social media to the increase in mass-participation outdoor events, mixed adventure sports and charity challenges. It will discuss some of the challenges facing the industry. It will consider the rise of an indoor-focused, screen-obsessed generation and look at the opportunities this provides, from government programmes to get more people exercising to worried middle-class parents seeking structured adventure. It will look at how the break-down of classic marketing channels makes it harder to sell product but also at how social media provides access to new interest groups for companies that are prepared to be creative. It will look at the problem of overcrowding and environmental damage at popular hiking spots and the difficulty of persuading people to go elsewhere, but also at some of the tactics that have proved successful in raising the profile of other destinations.