Travel Trade Journal
ATOAI to make 2023 a transformational year for adventure travel in India
Ajeet Bajaj President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI)
Pre-pandemic, Adventure Travel was a US 683-billion-dollar industry globally, showing a 21 per cent Compound Annual Growth rate since 2012. In India, we have every conceivable geographical terrain. We are a biodiversity hotspot and have 73 per cent of our country’s culturally diverse Himalayan range. Given our huge potential vis-à-vis adventure and sustainable tourism, we can easily double our inbound figures, presently at 10 million tourists in the next five years through Adventure Tourism alone.
Boosting adventure tourism will also make India a year-round destination since the peak season for adventure travel is during the shoulder months of cultural tourism.
Setting up the National Board for Adventure Tourism by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is a welcome step. We have already had two board meetings and are gaining momentum. This inter-ministerial board, with participation from state governments, will help resolve many issues about adventure tourism in India. We are also looking at implementing the ATOAI Safety and Sustainability Guidelines throughout the country.
Our vision is to make India among the top ten adventure travel destinations in the world by 2030. ATOAI has ambitious plans for 2023. We are starting the year by organising a course in Disaster Management, First Aid, and CPR for our adventure guides by the National Disaster Response Force. This will be a force multiplier in case of natural disasters in our country and impart training in First Aid, rescue, and disaster management to our adventure professionals.
We are looking at organising national seminars on Responsible Adventure Tourism throughout the country, training our adventure guides, and giving a huge amount of value to our membership.
We will conduct the first Seminar on Responsible Adventure Tourism in February 2023 in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. ATOAI is keen to host events in India that showcase our immense potential for adventure travel to a global audience. We are in talks with the Adventure Travel Trade Association to host their Adventure Next event in 2023. We are also keen to host a Responsible Adventure Tourism event in India’s Incredible North East. Given the postpandemic cabin fever,’ plans are on the anvil to make 2023 a transformational year for adventure travel in India.