India’s first ever Adventure Tourism Conclave was hosted in Mumbai on the 7th January, 2015. The event saw exhibitors from more than 7 states of the county, 500+ participants, and an eclectic mix of outdoor sports and adventure veterans, travel and adventure enthusiasts, media professionals and students.
This was at initiative by Fitrangi; a portal for adventure tourism in the online and offline space were the conveners of the conclave.
In a bid to showcase the market for adventure sports and tourism in India, the conclave comprised of an exhibition space which saw over 25 companies showcasing their products and services. They ranged from outdoor garments, to climbing equipment to hybrid bikes and various accessories that are vital for survival in the outdoors.
The sessions hosted by prominent members of the Indian adventure travel fraternity were insightful. More importantly it was a first official attempt at bringing together stalwarts in the industry to on forum to discuss and deliberate on the potential of the outdoors and adventure tourism in India.
Speakers included Mr. Harish Kapadia, veteran Indian mountaineer, Mrs. Kishori Gadre, General Manager, MTDC; Mr. Prakash Khatiwala, Owner Adventure Plus; Mr. Akshay Kumar , president ATOAI; Apoorva Prasad Editor-in-Chief The Outdoor Journal, Col. Gulshan Chaddha, principal, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Rajesh Gadgil, Editor, The Himalayan Club, Divyesh Muni, Vice President, The Himalayan Club, Anand Palande, veteran trekker, Bhushan Poshe, CEO at Allied Safety Equipments.
They covered a gamut of topics about Domestic and International adventure tourism and highlighted the potential for adventure tourism in India and specifically Maharashtra. Safety and security resounded as the paramount need of the hour amongst many of the speakers.
It was refreshing to hear Mrs. Kishori Gadre, General Manager MTDC say, “The Government now more than ever needs to take up the role of a facilitator than a regulator.”
- Akshay Kumar, President Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) with 30 years of experience values the Indian Adventure Travel Industry at Rs. 1500 – 2000 crore.
- Even though people are veering to DIY models, adventure travel is perhaps the only form where people would want to associate with a travel company.
- Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) and UNWTO conducted a comprehensive study on global statistics in Adventure Travel in 2013. This is what they presented:
- Europe, North and South America account for 69% of all international departures for adventure travel.
- Nearly 42% of all travel out of these areas had a part of the itinerary dedicated to adventure travel.
- The global adventure travel market is today worth $263 billion up by 65% from 2009 – 2012
- Average trip spend is around $1300 per person not including Flights, Visa and insurance.
- Opportunities in wild life tourism Maharashtra: Nature trails, hot air ballooning, river crossing, boating, scuba diving, snorkelling, sailing, boating, wildlife safari, star gazing, camping, eco-home stay in villages, photography tours, corporate training workshops, species studies including a new scuba diving centre opened in Tarkarli.
As a first ever showcase about the scope and potential of the Indian Adventure Tourism sector; Fitrangi and their partners did a stupendous job in bringing together the vital stake holders that can steer this sector towards great heights. It was the need of the-hour to have a facilitator bringing together all stake holders in the industry; we sure would like to give Fitrangi a pat on their back for the effort.
It still is a long way from the International forums like ISPO that takes place across the globe and The Outdoor Retailer, that takes place over two seasons at Salt Lake City, Utah; international versions of the conclave. But for that you dear reader must demand more options in outdoorsy activates, products and services from Indian companies. That is what will inspire more and more travel operators and outdoor brands to apply their minds and give you the best opportunities in pursuing your passion for the outdoors.
Let’s Be Outdoorsy hopes to see much more during the next Adventure Tourism Conclave in India; exciting times ahead!