The Ministry of Tourism’s DekhoApnaDesh Webinar series titled “12 Months of Adventure Travel” on 28thNovember 2020 focused on Adventure Tourism which has the potential to make India a round the year destination. India is ranked 34th on the world travel and tourism index driven by rich natural and cultural resources. The World Economic Forum ranked India as the 5th best destination on the Natural Heritage Index in the world. Adventure Travel provides a sea of opportunities for India, which has unparalleled natural resources for exploration and experience.DekhoApnaDesh Webinar Series is an effort to showcase India’s rich diversity under Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat and it is continuously spreading spirit of Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat through virtual platform.
This webinar virtually takes one through the immense strength, potential and the hidden secrets of India covering Mountains, Forests, Rivers, Deserts, Mangroves, Islands, Canals, Wildlife and over 31 adventure activities that will delight an Indian and also an overseas traveller.
The webinar was presented by Mr. Tejbir Singh Anand, Managing Director, Holiday Moods Adventures Pvt Ltd. Tejbir Singh is a veteran and in the Indian adventure travel industry with over 3 decades of experience. He is a “Hall of Fame Awardee” presented by Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) . India is a 12 month destination in respect of adventure and culture and the country is so vast and huge that one life is not enough to cover the entire country.
Mr. Tejbir Singh started the presentation with the definition of adventure tourism. Adventure tourism can be termed as soft experiences to challenging expeditions. Essential elements are very important and they are nature, activity which will be pursued, culture of that place and finally the traveller’s experience. Experience can be novel and unique and that depend on degree of challenges.
The Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) was founded with an aim to create awareness about the immense potential for adventure tourism in India and to harness this potential in a safe, sensitive and environment-friendly manner. The association also works towards creating awareness overseas about the potential of adventure tourism in India.
India is one of the very few countries in the world that boasts natural and cultural attractions so diverse and complex, which promises ample opportunities to explore every kind of landscape imaginable. From the eternal snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas to meandering rivers and gushing waterfalls, dense forests rich in wildlife, beautiful valleys, long coastlines and magical moonscapes, vast deserts of the west, to the ancient traditions and festivities of its colorful culture, offering unique adventures to all travelers.
The scope of adventure tourism activities for the 12 month is given as under:-
Winter (November- February)
North East – Assam, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Tripura
Activities – Trekking, Cruising, biking etc.
Rajasthan – Jaisalmer, Thar Desert, Jodhpur, Pokhran
Activities- Parasailing, camping , hot air balloon
Harayana– Dhauj known for Rock climbing Mecca
J&K – Gulmarg known for skiing
Ladakh – Ice climbing, Ice hockey, Cycling in Leh and Kargil
Himachal Pradesh– Manali, Dharamshala, Kullu, Sirmour, Shimla
Activities- Skiing, cycling, snow treks, paragliding
Uttarakhand – Lower ranges of Kumaon&Garhwal
Activities – Rafting, cycling, zipline, Bungy
Spring (March- April)
Adventure activities are possible in J&K, Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim
Summer (May- June)
High altitude treaks are possible in Himachal valleys and Uttarakhand. Multiple adventure activities happens in J&K and Ladakh -Nubra and Zanskar.
Monsoon (July- August)
Himachal Valleys- Kinnaur, Spiti and Lahaul, Ladakh, J&K and number of adventure activities also happens in the Aravallis (Udaipur, Ranakpur and Kumbalgarh)
Autumn (September- October)
Number of adventure activities can be enjoyed in North East
India has all the combination of natural heritage which can be enjoyed throughout a year. They are Mountain range, River system, Biosphere reserve, wildlife sanctuary, National parks etc to name a few. Himalaya is the youngest fold mountain range of the world and 73% repository is in India. Aravalli is one of the oldest fold mountain range. Major River System in India are Indus River System, Brahmaputra River System (3969 Km), Ganga River System (2704 km) etc. India is home to 18 biosphere reserves in India. There are 551 Wildlife Sanctuaries which contribute 3.64% of the geographical area of the Country. National park comprises 1.23% of India’s total surface area. Desert like white salt great Rann of Kutch (2898 Sq miles) Scandy Thar desert (66000 Sq miles) provide ample opportunities for adventure. Trans Himalayan Cold desert of India is Ladakh which also has lot of adventure activities. Kerala has a network of 1500 km of canals, 38 rivers and 5 big lakes. Total mangrove cover of India is 4921 sq km. Largest lake in the Himalaya is Pangong Tso (4238 m) and highest lake is Gurudongmar Lake (5148 m) in Sikkim.
Adventure Tour Operators Association has also listed the adventure activities based on land, air and water. Land based Adventure activities include all Terrain Vehicle Tours (ATV), Bungee Jumping, Cycling Tours, Camel Safaris, Horse Safaris, Jeep Safaris, Motorcycle Tours, Mountaineering, Nature Walks / Bird Watching, Rock Climbing / Artificial Wall Climbing &Abselling, Personal Light Electric Vehicle Tours, Skiing / Snow Boarding, Trekking, Wildlife Safaris, Zip Wires and High Ropes Courses. Air Based Adventure Tourism (7) comprises, Hot Air Ballooning, Paragliding / Hand Gliding, Para Motoring, Parasailing, Ski Diving, Air Safaris, Kite Boarding. Water Based Adventure Tourism (7) comprises, Kayaking / Sea Kayaking, Rafting, River Cruisinig, Scuba Diving, Snorkelling, Water Sports Centres, Essentials. The guidelines are mostly based on providing Standard Operating Procedures Instructions/Risk Mitigation & Emergencies (Qualification for Guides and Instructors for all these adventure tourism) Emergency and Rescues, Safety Briefing, Medical Concerns, flying permission, equipments, use of sign board, use of alcohol / drugs, trained manpower, risk management strategy, inspections and maintenances. Insurance Liabilities, Death and Disabilities. Travellers can also avail insurance from the Tour Operators before engaging in any adventure activity.
In order to protect and increase the potential of our natural heritage, too many visitors on the same routes should be avoided. If our natural heritage is at risk it will lead to poor experience for the traveler, dirty surrounding etc. We need to respect the carrying capacity of the place and take necessary initiatives to protect the environment. The best experience for a tourist will be to showcase the natural heritage, promote and seek the joy of new found.
Summing up the webinar RupinderBrar , Additional Director General spoke about India’s tourism potential and adventure activities available for the tourists throughout 365 days. Though today we are travelling virtually but the day is not far when we will pack our bags and engage in travelling. She encouraged the virtual participants to follow all the guidelines of COVID 19 like wearing mask, maintaining social distance etc and if possible to take short travels.
The DekhoApnaDesh Webinar Series is presented in technical partnership with National e Governance Department, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The Sessions of Webinar are now available on the https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCbzIbBmMvtvH7d6Zo_ZEHDA/featured and also on all social media Handles of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
The next webinar on Agra is scheduled on 5thDecember 2020 at 11.00 am.