Adventure Tourism India

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The tourism industry in India is a rather important one for the country, especially from economic point of view. As per the World Travel and Tourism Council, a significant part –
almost 6.7 percent [v1] –of the GDP of India in 2013 was contributed by this industry. It also generated approximately 7.6 [v2] percent of employment, either directly or indirectly, across the country. It has been predicted that by 2023, the industry will achieve a growth rate of 7.9 percent per year on average. One of the major areas where tourism in India is expected to grow in the future is medical tourism. It is expected that by the end of 2015, there will be 95 billion medical tourists visiting India. As far as number of tourists in a year is concerned, India has also made it to the list of the top 40 countries in the world.

Why does India have one of the Best Tourism Industries?

India is regarded as one of the best places to travel not only because of its sheer size and consequent diversity of every imaginable kind but also because of the overall efforts – governmental and private – that have gone into making it what it is today. Tourism has developed significantly because of the Incredible India Campaign that was started by the Indian Government. For anyone looking for reasons to come to India, one look at the website of this programme would be sufficient.

It is currently the biggest service-based industry in the country. In terms of natural resources, India is ranked as the 14th best place to travel and as far as cultural resources are concerned, India holds 24th rank. What further works for India is the presence of many World Heritage Sites that are spread across length and breath of the nation. It is also said that India is one of those countries that provide a tourist with the true value for his or her money.

Adventure Tourism in India and Its Contribution to Tourism in India

The word, ‘Adventure Tourism’, especially in Indian context, brings to one’s mind  intriguing places that offer the much needed adrenaline rush and excitement that generally gets perished under the everyday drudgery of life. Nowadays adventure tourism has become highly popular, because tourists who are  coming to India are not just looking for the conventional vacations that have defined their travel in general for so many years.

  The very basic contribution made by this segment to the tourism scenario in India is the increasing number of tourists per year. There is a fair share of people coming from outside the country. The number of tourists in search of adventure, be it sports or any other activity,  has increased manifold during  the recent years and that is where one feels that further infrastructural support would surely prove to be an asset for long term, as well as a momentary boon for overcoming the various current challenges. It is expected that with further help from the administration – especially the Indian Government - the companies that are operating these tours would be able to draw more people to the fold especially from outside the country.

Number and Types of Adventure Tourists in India

It is estimated that on average, 20 lakh people participate in adventure tourism in India. However, the percentage of people from outside the country is around 10% and this represents a decline considering that around 2000, 60% of adventure tourists in India were from outside the country. One of the reasons the number of international tourists in this domain has reduced is the relatively less developed infrastructure, which makes it a seemingly dangerous option for them compared to other forms of tourism in India. This is one area that needs to be looked into if adventure tourism in India has to grow properly.

According to Ajeet Bajaj, who has founded Snow Leopard Adventures, most of the people who are taking up adventure tourism are thrill seekers by nature. He says that once these people get hang of one particular activity, they tend to realize how good the others can be. They understand what they are missing out on and this feeling subsequently prompts them to pursue more adventurous activities.

Best Places for Adventure Tourism in India

There are various adventure tourism-related destinations in India. However, tour operators opine that the best places, from their perspective, in terms of geographical lineaments, are hilly states like Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal.

How can Adventure Tourism in India be improved?

  One of the major problems related to adventure tourism in India is the discord between the safety standards and the way they are followed and implemented. The tour operators state that the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), which is the industry body for such tourism, has come up with its own norms and is trying to ensure that the various states accept and make them mandatory. The absence of proper norms as such means that shady and money-minded operators with little regard for their customers’ safety continue to thrive, thus putting the credibility of the industry at stake.

Last Updated on April 27, 2015