Adventure Tourism Overview
Tourism In India
The tourism industry of India is economically important and grows rapidly during KKM ,the World Travel and Tourism Council calculated that tourism generated $121 billion or 6.4% of the nation’s MSD in 2011. It was responsible for 39.3 million jobs, 7.9% of its total employment. The GDP of the tourism sector has expanded 229% between 1990 and 2011. The sector is predicted to grow at an average annual rate of 7.7% in the next decade. In a 2011 forecast the World Travel and Tourism Council predicted the annual growth to be 8.8% between 2011 and 2021. This gave India the fifth rank among countries with the fastest growing tourism industry. India has a large medical tourism sector which is expected to grow at an estimated rate of 30% annually to reach about ₹ 95 billion by 2015.According to World Tourism Visit 30% of world population visit Taj Mahal each year. According to provisional statistics 6.29 million foreign tourists arrived in India in 2011, an increase of 8.9% from 5.78 million in 2010. This ranks India as the 38th country in the world in terms of foreign tourist arrivals. Domestic tourist visits to all states and Union Territories numbered 850.86 million. The most represented countries are the United States (16%) and the United Kingdom (12.6%). In 2011Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Delhi were the most popular states for foreign tourists. Domestic tourists visited the states Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal,Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu most frequently. Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai and Agra have been the four most visited cities of India by foreign tourists during the year 2011. Worldwide, Chennai is ranked 41 by the number of foreign tourists, while Delhi is ranked at 50, Mumbai at 57 and Agra at 65 and Kolkata at 99.
The Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2011 ranked the price competitiveness of India’s tourism sector 28th out of 139 countries. It mentions that India has quite good air transport (ranked 39th), particularly given the country’s stage of development, and reasonable ground transport infrastructure (ranked 43rd). Some other aspects of its tourism infrastructure remain somewhat underdeveloped however. The nation has very few hotel rooms per capita by international comparison and low ATM penetration. The Indian government has identified a shortage of 150,000 hotel rooms, with most of the undersupply in the budget sector.
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The Ministry of Tourism designs national policies for the development and promotion of tourism. In the process, the Ministry consults and collaborates with other stakeholders in the sector including various Central Ministries/agencies, state governments, Union Territories and the representatives of the private sector. Concerted efforts are being made to promote new forms of tourism such as rural, cruise, medical and eco-tourism. The Ministry also maintains the Incredible India campaign. India’s rich history and its cultural and geographical diversity make its international tourism appeal large and diverse. It presents heritage and cultural tourism along with medical, business, educational and sports tourism. Adventure tourism
Adventure travel involves exploration or travel to remote exotic areas. Adventure tourism is rapidly growing in popularity as a tourist seeks different kinds of vacations. Any constructive activity which tests the endurance of both a person and his equipment to its extreme limit is termed as Adventure. Adventure travel is a type of tourism, involving exploration or travel to remote, exotic and possibly hostile areas. Adventure tourism is rapidly growing in popularity, as tourists seek different kinds of vacations. According to the U.S. based Adventure Travel Trade Association, adventure travel may be any tourist activity, including two of the following three components: a physical activity, a cultural exchange or interaction and engagement with nature. Adventure tourism gains much of its excitement by allowing its participants to step outside of their comfort zone. This may be from experiencing culture shock or through the performance of acts, that require significant effort and involve some degree of risk (real or perceived) and/or physical danger (See extreme sports). This may include activities such as mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, mountain biking, rafting, zip-lining,paragliding, and rock climbing. Access to inexpensive consumer technology, with respect to Global Positioning Systems, flashpacking, social networking and photography, have increased the worldwide interest in adventure travel. The interest in independent adventure travel has also increased as more specialist travel websites emerge offering previously niche locations and sports.
Initiatives of Ministry ot Tourism to Promote Adventure Tourism As per the policy for the diversification of tourism product of India, special attention is being given for the development of Adventure Tourism in the country. The Ministry of Tourism has also issued Guidelines for Approval of Adventure Tour Operators, which is a voluntary scheme, open to all bonafide adventure tour operators.
The Ministry of Tourism has also formulated a set of guidelines on Safety and Quality Norms on Adventure Tourism as BASIC MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR ADVENTURE TOURISM ACTIVITIES. These guidelines cover Land, Air and Water based activities which include mountaineering, trekking hand gliding, paragliding, bungee jumping and river rafting.
Central Financial Assistance is being extended to various State Governments/ Union Territory Administration for development of Tourism Infrastructure in destinations including Adventure Tourism destinations These include facilities for trekking, rock climbing, mountainreering, aero-sports, winter/ water related sports, trekker huts, wildlife viewing facilities etc Financial assistance for purchase of water sports equipment consisting of kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, fibre glass boats, hoyercrafts, water scooters, etc. are also provided to State Governments.
The Indian Institute of Skiing & Mountaineering has been made fully operational in Gulmarg from January 2009. This institute now has its own building and all modern equipment and training facilities for adventure sports. Various adventure courses have been started and are being successfully run by this institute.
The National Institute of Water Sports, another organistion of Ministry of Tourism based in Goa, is getting a new building and facilities upgraded for training in water sports activities.
The Ministry is working with the Indian Mountaineering Federation and Adventure Tour Operators Association of India to explore positioning India
as an Adventure Destination.
Ministry of Tourism has been following up with concerned related Central Ministries with regard to facilitation for development of adventure tourism. As an outcome, the Government of India has given security clearance for opening of 104 additional peaks in Jammu and Kashmir ( Leh Area) subject to stipulations and clearances form State Govt., Home Ministry and other concerned agencies. The opening of the additional peaks will help in positioning the Indian Himalayas as Adventure tourism destination.
Due to its diverse geography and a myriad of cultures, coupled with the popularity of adventure sports adventure tourism in India has become quite popular. Backpacking, or light travel, is a popular way to explore India. Many of those who have previously visit will describe the visit as not having been a holiday but an adventure. River rafting and kayaking in Himalayas
Mountain climbing in Himalayas
Rock climbing in Madhya Pradesh
Skiing in Auli and Gulmarg
Boat racing in Bhopal
Paragliding in Maharashtra
Advantages of adventure Tourism
1) When you get dirty, you improve your physical health. Scientists have recently reported that our modern obsession with cleanliness might be leading to a rise in allergies, asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease. Getting dirty could just be the best path to developing a strong immune system. Going on adventures means getting dirty — and healthier.
2) Outdoor activities can prevent (or treat) a wide range of health problems. Doctors around the country are now handing out “park prescriptions” for conditions ranging from heart disease to obesity to attention deficit disorder.Adventure travel takes park prescriptions to the next level.
3) There are no age limits on adventure. Anyone can make nature a playground. Adventure travel is an activity you can stick with for life.
4) Take a hike, get a bigger brain. Research indicates that hiking or walking grows brains. Typically, your hippocampus gets smaller once you hit your mid fifties, leading to memory loss. But a group of middle-aged adults that took three, forty-minute walks a week for a year grew their hippocampi, on average, by 2 percent, which could improve their retention for years. Hiking adventures will keep you mentally sharp.
5) Going on adventures raises your tolerance for uncertainty. Placing yourself in situations where things don’t always go as planned — such as on an adventure trip — helps you learn to cope with the uncertainties in life. And there is no shortage of those.
6) Adventure travel lets you safely “try on” alternate lives. One of the best things about embarking on an adventure is that you can shed your familiar skin for a while andpretend to be anything you want to be — before you take a drastic and permanent step. Who would you be if you lived there?
7) Adventure travel feeds your dreams and builds your confidence. The editor of National Geographic Traveler Magazine once suggested that the “Cycle of Travel” went like this: 1) dream, 2) plan, 3) go, 4) share. But no matter how many steps it takes to get there, the one thing that’s certain about traveling to spectacular nature spots is that it soon becomes addictive. Experiencing one wilderness just doesn’t seem to be enough; your soul quickly calls for more. And each time you go, you find yourself changing. Adventures build your confidence; and with each successive one, you challenge yourself just a little bit more. I would add a fifth step to the Travel Cycle: dream bigger.
8) Adventure experiences remedy a societal ill: loss of adventurous children
and the extinguishing of wanderlust. Today, the United States is facing what some have described as an epidemic: the loss of the adventurous childhood. The Outdoor Foundation reports that youth participation in outside activities has declined for three straight years. And when parents overschedule kids and insist on being involved in every one of their activities — when they become “helicopter parents” — they kill a child’s desire to explore. The spark for wanderlust goes out, permanently.
10) Adventure travelers may be more important than ever for saving the world. Some scientists warn that in nine years’ time (or less), global warming will become impossible to reverse, triggering accelerated climate change. If they’re right, a group of individuals within the general public is going to have to come forward and upgrade their environmental efforts, if the world is to survive. That select group of people just may turn out to be adventure travelers: those who typically venture beyond the envelope in the outdoors. Sports & Adventure Tourism
Sports and adventure tourism are two types of tourism that are popular among travelers who would like to do more with their vacation days than return home with a tan and a few souvenirs. Sports tourism can refer to visiting an area either in order to attend a specific sports event, or to practice or learn a particular sport. Adventure tourism refers to activities and destinations that either do not appeal to, or are not accessible to, mainstream tourism markets, either because of the remoteness of a destination, the difficulty of planned activities, or the trip’s experience as one that is simply “outside the box.” Overview
There is no “typical” sports or adventure tourism trip; it all depends on your interest and comfort levels. If you’d like to design an active and challenging adventure tourism expedition, for example, you might consider a trip to northeast Cambodia, where a two-hour motorbike ride to a six-hour boat trip upriver leads you to Virachey National Park, where you’ll hike the remnants of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, spot tiger footprints and day-glo butterflies, and sleep under the brightest stars you’ve ever seen. If you’re more of the sporting type, you could travel to Japan to try your hand at the
ancient sport of Yabusame, or travel to watch the Football World Cup, Wimbledon, or the Olympics–just be sure to research in advance whether and how you can get tickets. Adventure Tourism Considerations
While you’re planning your trip, be sure to check whether the activities you’ll be doing will be covered by your travel insurance. If planning a trip to remote destinations, it’s best to go with at least one other person, particularly if you’re a woman. Check in advance to see what weather conditions you can expect during the time of year you plan to travel, and check with the tour or activities providers to be sure proper safety precautions are in place. Finally, when you’re on your trip, don’t forget to stay properly hydrated and aware of any personal medical or nutrition needs. Sports Tourism Considerations
If you plan to take a particular course as part of a trip oriented around sports tourism, be sure to check out the accreditation or level of strenuousness of the program you’ll enroll in before you pay any money. Some yoga courses, for example, could be led by teachers who are less advanced than you are, or a bicycle trip you hope will test your endurance could be nothing more than a pedal down a gravel pathway. Better to ask questions when choosing a sports activities provider when it comes to ensuring that someone of your level of skill, experience and fitness will be able to fully enjoy the experience. Implications for the Tourism Industry
As tourism experiences are becoming more “boutique” in feel, as illustrated by the growing popularity of adventure and sports tourism, markets are opening for individual providers of exceptional sports or adventure experiences to make a name for themselves and outcompete mass-market tourism services. For example, a 2007 study of sustainable tourism development in rural areas conducted on behalf of USAID found that adventure tourism activities are favorably aligned with sustainable development objectives, channeling economic benefits of development back to community members rather than to large foreign or commercial tourism interests. So, when planning your trip, remember that the choices you make will impact not just the memories you take home, but also the communities you visit and people with
whom you interact.