Sustainable route to adventure
Adventure Sports Expo Asia 2018, India’s first adventure travel extravaganza, was recently held in New Delhi. With an aim to catalyse the growth of adventure sports, the expo brought together key stakeholders of the industry.
Legendary Indian cricketer Kapil Dev inaugurated the adventure sports event along with Shannon Stowell, CEO, Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) at Hotel Four Points by Sheraton, New Delhi. Dev said, “I encourage all kinds of sports but adventure sports is something which gets you close to nature and into clean fresh places to calm the body and mind. It is heartening to see so many adventure sports enthusiasts assemble here in Delhi from all over India and the world. I am confident that more people will discover the joy of undertaking adventure sports in years to come.”
Stowell commented, “India has so much to offer to the world when it comes to adventure sports and adventure tourism. This is my first trip to India and I certainly look forward to taking the message of what India has to offer to the world.”
Swadesh Kumar, President, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), said, “This is a great initiative by a private enterprise and we are glad that the association could support them. This is the first time such a gathering has taken place among all stakeholders in adventure sports.”
The Expo was organised under a joint collaboration between Asian Games Gold Medalist Rishi Narain, Founder & MD, RN Sports Marketing, and Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). The event received strong support from various ministries and forums like Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, Air India, ATTA, International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), ESOI (Ecotourism Society of India), WAS (World Adventure Society), etc.
Ajeet Bajaj, Senior Vice President, ATOAI, said, “We are elated to see such an amazing beginning of the first edition of ASEA 2018 and are already planning for a bigger ASEA 2019. The show will market India as an iconic destination for adventure sports to the world with the support of ATOAI. It will also recognise individuals, groups and companies in the field of adventure.”
The focus of the Expo was to provide a unified global networking platform to facilitate the growth of adventure sports and responsible tourism vis-à-vis products and services. The show witnessed participation from 90 exhibitors and over 5000 participants over three days. The exhibitor profile ranged from adventure gear manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers along with adventure and ecotourism tour operators from all over Asia. The buyer profile consisted of government bodies such as the army, navy, air force, para-military organisations, travel enthusiast, potential investors from hospitality industry and participants from the US, UK, Australia, South America, Asia and Europe. The free flow of the event offered sessions on burning issues in the adventure travel industry, B2B meetings between exhibitors and buyers and an arena to enjoy activities to make it stand out from other business events.