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Want adventure, go holidaying

July 25, 2011 13:34 IST

TravelThis vacation, how about going shark diving in Australia or on a tree canopy tour in the Tsitsikamma Forest of Africa? Back home, you could go river rafting in Zanskar or a trek in the Himalayas.

Indian appetite for adventure tourism is increasing consistently, with the segment seeing an over 10 per cent year on year increase in travellers.

To cashing on that, many countries have started to aggressively market their adventure tourism destinations to potential Indian travellers.

Australia, Vietnam, Egypt and Spain are among those hardselling their adventure destinations.

So far, the popular destinations for adventure tourism had been South Africa, with activities like a safari tour, and Switzerland for skiing and para-gliding.

"Australia is attractive for its nature trails and people also climb the Sydney Harbour bridge.

"This is a rage amongst Indian travelers," said Karan Anand, head, relationships, Cox and Kings.

"This segment (adventure tourists) has a small base but is growing briskly. Largely small to medium niche players are primary driving growth here. Such niche agencies are growing in number, largely because of interest from clients," said Keyur Joshi, co-founder and chief operating officer, MakeMyTrip.

There are specialised travel agencies like Aquaterra catering solely to adventure tourism, from providing tailored travel and group travel to customising adventure.

According to founder Vaibhav Kala, there is a growing segment of travellers who want to travel the unconventional way. "A growing segment, that has been there and done that, wants to collect experiences that are different.

Most of our new adventures get filled quickly and are inspired by our guests," said Kala.

According to a TripAdvisor survey conducted on 2,360 respondents from India, there has been a surge in the adventure tourism sector.

Their summer survey revealed that 34 per cent people prefer going for adventure travel, 18.2 per cent people chose a safari/wildlife sanctuary holiday and 17.5 per cent voted for outdoor camping, rafting and hiking over conventional travel.

"With easily accessible, cost-effective adventure destinations and activities which go beyond the regular trekking and hiking, today's travellers want to indulge in more exciting adventure excursions. Diversity of climate and topography best suited for adventure activities round the year has also given a boost to adventure tourism," said Nikhil Ganju, country manager, TripAdvisor.

Ruchika Chitravanshi in New Delhi
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