Adventure Tourism

Young Indians: Adventurous and game

Ramnagar, Bangaloreadventure sports

 

“I don’t think I can go ahead with this, I’m so scared!” Nivedha Rajasekharan screamed as she balanced on the edge of a steep rock face. Her trainer worked the belay device, ready to launch yet another rappelling novice on her first hesitant descent down the 90-degree incline.

It was a wintry Sunday morning on the outskirts of this small town, which features a unique landscape of rolling hills strewn with towering boulders that are ideal for rock climbing and rappelling, and lies only an hour south of India’s technology hub, Bangalore.  For Rajasekharan, the rappelling exercise was a new way to confront her own fears — as fun.

Rajasekharan is among a new breed of tourists in India, mostly young, urban professionals with expendable income who want to spend their holidays and relaxation time on something other than spas or famous historical sites. The region around Ramnagara is increasingly attracting such travelers as an antidote to long hours spent writing code or cutting business deals.

With domestic firms jockeying for position in the potentially lucrative industry, particularly among Indians themselves, adventure travel has emerged as the new tourism frontier. But it faces its own challenges. Diving in the Andaman Islands off India’s southeastern coast.  Thrillophilia

First there’s the cultural preference for “softer” getaways. India’s current adventure travel offerings are for the most part comparatively tame. “When it comes to adventure holidays, a majority of Indians are yet to warm up to hardcore adventure trips,” observed Shibani Phadkar, senior vice president of outbound leisure travel at London-based Thomas Cook India. “They prefer safety along with comfort and hence look for ‘soft adventure.’ ”

Still, Thomas Cook, one of the oldest travel companies in the country, has observed a transformation in its clientele, and has begun offering special packages that include indoor skydiving, ice-climbing, kayaking, zip-trekking and fissure snorkeling, which involves diving into a water body trapped between large rocks.

With these more-dynamic activities, a big challenge is safety. Particularly given the nascent stage of India’s burgeoning adventure tourism industry, there’s potential for real danger, with so many new companies coming onto the scene, and some carrying cost-saving efforts to unsafe levels. High-end equipment is expensive, and in India’s price-sensitive market, balancing profit margins and safety issues can be perilous.

Read the full report here, IB Times

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