NEW DELHI: Despite vast swathes of natural resources, India ranks quite low in global adventure tourism. However, the tourism ministry believes that the country holds great potential to become a global marketplace for adventure activities, sports and eco-tourism.
With the tourism ministry holding a consultation on proposals to introduce reforms and provisions in the new National Tourism Policy to take the Indian tourism sector to a new height, it has formulated two separate policy frameworks to encourage stakeholders to work proactively towards developing adventure and eco-tourism under the National Strategy for Adventure and Eco-tourism.
Ranking of states on adventure tourism, creation of eco-tourism blocks in forest areas, and training cum certification programmes for the workforce involved in tourism services are among several suggestions in the policies to provide impetus to the development of adventure and eco-tourism in the country.
According to the Adventure Tourism Competitive Index (ATDI) for 2020 released by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) together with George Washington University International Institute of Tourism Studies (GW), India stood at 96th position in the world.
The ministry will conduct a ranking of the states on adventure tourism, with the key objective to foster competitiveness and encourage states to work pro-actively towards developing adventure tourism with the over-arching objective of promoting sustainable tourism, reads the National Strategy of Adventure Tourism.
Both the documents have been circulated among all government ministries, departments and stakeholders for further action. Professionals organising adventure sports activities and tours in the country have lauded the efforts of the government.
Captain Swadesh Kumar, founding president of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), termed the decision as a welcome step. “It is good that the government is going beyond heritage and spiritual tourism and promoting adventure activities,” he said.