Upwards & On-wards: Rise of Adventure Sports in India
Roll back to 2006, people would call you crazy for thinking you could indulge in adventure sports and activities in India. Sure it seemed like a crazy idea back then, so did many other things! Virtual reality was shrugged off, artificial intelligence was considered as hokum and if someone told me I could go skydiving in Maharashtra, I’d probably laugh at them. Except now, it doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched idea after all. Virtual reality has hit the market, artificial intelligence is on the verge of changing the way our lives work and most importantly (well, at least to us), India is now a massive hub for adventure sports and activities.
What caused this massive shift? What suddenly changed? Is our country really that lucrative a land to become a leader in adventure sports?
The answer to most of these pressing questions is in the positive. The years have seen India transition from being ignored on the adventure map to actually being able to offer premium adventure tourism services. If reports from the Ministry of Tourism are to be believed, the country saw a staggering 6.31 million and 6.65 million tourists in India in 2011 and 2012 respectively. That’s a lot of people (on top of the ones already populating our country). One of the top reasons for this is the rise of adventure tourism . India is viewed as an exotic location by many tourists seeking adventure and thrill in lands besides their own. Let’s not forget the fact that this wouldn’t have been possible without attracting Indians themselves to partake in adventure activities and them spreading the word online courtesy of blogging and micro-blogging! Today we explore the nitty-gritty’s of what caused the escalation of adventure in India.
A naturally diverse topography is one of the best reasons we could analyse. From peaks in the north to beaches in the south, hills, forests, sanctuaries, desserts, ghats, plateaus, islands, rain-forests; you name it, we have it! A diverse topography makes for an excellent location to venture towards for adventure. In the words of an adventure enthusiast, India can be viewed as a land of opportunity just itching to deliver in its share of thrills. A diverse topography definitely attracts foreigners in drones. A boost in tourism lead to a need to boost diversity in activities needed during tourism. Thus, adventure tourism was born, the ideal blend of adventure sports, travelling and tourism.
Now with the rise of tourism came the rise of the keen Indian mind too. It took us just a handful of years to adopt western culture, so it comes as no surprise that with tourists seeking adventure arriving at our shore, curious Indian minds started considering adventure as a pastime themselves! As wallets in India got bigger and aspirations for the ideal work-life balance soared, the conventional vacations just didn’t cut it. Travelling to foreign destinations, although more considerable than before, still remained an expensive ordeal. So why not take the best of both worlds, save on travelling costs and splurge on adventure within our own borders?
Anyone who’s lived in India knows there’s no shortage of business minds in the country. Usually when an opportunity to go down the business route emerges, you can bet those with the acumen are definitely considering venturing into a hitherto unexplored field. If it’s the land of opportunity, you can bet it’ll be capitalized upon! That’s how businesses, small at first and eventually major players, have cropped up and now cater to adventure and tourism enthusiasts from around the globe. With the Ministry of Tourism egging you on and a business idea that requires low investments and yields high returns, it comes as no surprise that companies offering services in adventure tourism cropped up faster than illegal food stalls on a pedestrian footpath.
All these factors indicate one thing, adventure activities are definitely picking up steam in the country. Perhaps it’s too early to ponder the economic implications of a sphere as vast and diverse as this, but in a few years, even that wouldn’t be something to cast aside as just trends. Adventure is on the rise and the spirit of adventure has hit India hard. That’s probably the only time we’ll admit something hitting us would bring immense pleasure with it! We reckon there’s only one direction (pun unintended) this industry can go; upwards and on-wards! Embrace the rise, embrace the adventure!
He dons many hats. Professionally committing towards marketing, operations, product management, and business strategy skills while also being a hands-on scuba diving instructor. He approaches each problem with a leveled mind of an optimist. His taste in music and food is very specific and he enjoys a healthy work-life balance.