India – Still at a growing stage in adventure tourism

Published on : Saturday, October 23, 2021

In spite of having 70 per cent of the Himalayas, almost 7000 kms of beach line, in world, India being one of the three countries with both hot and cold deserts, it positions 10th in total area covered by forest and 6th in terms of number of recognized UNESCO Natural Heritage sites, sundry flora and fauna, adventure tourism in India is still at a growing stage but designing its own path of growth. As per industry guestimates, annually, India’s inbound adventure tourism was growing 5-7 per cent and domestic adventure tourism was growing by 20-25 per cent.

Adventure tourism is resilient. It supports local economies as well as attracts customers who are valuable and supports sustainable practices. However, in India, adventure tourism still remains a relatively small market compared to the West. The reason for the stunted growth is the dearth of definite policies and infrastructure. Also, India has suffered from an image problem historically, particularly relating to safety measures. Hence, the facility and support staffs need to be developed to the global standards.

T3 organized an e-conference at SATTE GenX titled, ‘Adventure Tourism: Unlocking new avenues post COVID’. Moderated by Tejbir Singh Anand, Managing Director, Holiday Moods Adventures & Past President, ATOAI; the panel many well-known experts from the industry including Deepak R Joshi, Founding Executive Member – World Tourism Network; Sanjay Basu, Co-Founder & Chairman, Far Horizon Tours India; Milind Bhide, Managing Director and CEO, Countryside Adventure Holidays; Pradeep Murthy, Director, Muddy Boots Vacations; Anirudh Chaoji, Chief Naturalist, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.

While speaking about the way India can reposition itself as an adventure and natural destination, Basu, said, “Unfortunately, we as a country haven’t been able to go beyond the Taj Mahal. We need to strongly and aggressively promote Adventure. The World Economic Forum Rated India in terms of natural heritage as 6th greatest on earth, in a tight position with Brazil. We are custodian of the largest chunk of the greatest mountain chain on earth. We have three kind of deserts in India Golden desert-Thar, Silver desert- Rann of Kutch, and cold desert-Spiti, Ladakh, which we need to showcase to the world. We have almost every kind of forest from equatorial rainforest in Andaman to tropical rainforest in south India to alpine forest in our mountain chains. 24 per cent of our landmass is covered with forests and we have all the big cats in India. 1272 species of birds are present in India. 105 rivers with many navigable and which offers adventure and cruising opportunities.”

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