Vacationers gung-ho about the great Indian outdoors

Apr 20 2014, 00:21 IST
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The figure stood at about 24% last year. The figure stood at about 24% last year.
SummaryIndian travellers’ enthusiasm to add a dose of adventure to their otherwise ‘mundane’ holidays is on a new high

Indian travellers’ enthusiasm to add a dose of adventure to their otherwise ‘mundane’ holidays is on a new high. If the findings of the recent ‘Adventure Travel Survey’ undertaken by online travel portal TripAdvisor, shared exclusively with FE, are anything to go by, up to 67% of the travel enthusiasts interviewed by it are willing to engage in some adventure activity or the other while on a holiday in the next six months, up 14% from last year’s figure of 53%.

The adrenaline rush is also going to be at full play in the summer months ahead, with 35% of the respondents planning to engage in some ‘extreme’ forms of adventure sports like bungee jumping, paragliding or sky diving. Interestingly, not only are Indians willing to ‘experiment’, as much as 62% respondents are also confident that they are absolutely ‘fit’ for any form of adventure sports.

Nikhil Ganju, country manager, TripAdvisor India, said: “The Adventure Travel Survey is a good indicator of adventure travel in India as far as consumer response is concerned. It clearly demonstrates that more and more Indians are willing to go all out rather than just engage in sightseeing during their holidays.”

As per the survey, up to 59.87% of the respondents cited their love for ‘varied experiences in life’ as one of the primary reasons for undertaking adventure activities or extreme sports, followed by seekers of ‘thrill, excitement and sense of risk’ (32.47%) and a ‘sense of achievement/accomplishment’ (31.03%).

Also, this year, friends remained clear winners as company on adventure travel, with 69.84% respondents claiming them as their first choice.

Understandably, the next preference remained spouses, with 40.27% respondents wanting to pursue their adventure activities with their better halves.

The survey, however, revealed that the perception of Indian adventure operators is abysmal among travellers, with over 79% respondents claiming that safety measures employed by them are not on a par with their international counterparts. Among the various reasons spelled out by the respondents for showing little or no faith in undertaking activities in India or with Indian operators, poor quality and maintenance of equipment top the list (73.14%), followed by overall low standards of safety (69.26%) and low accountability for mishaps (57.60%).

Of late, certain adventure activities are being offered at lower than nominal costs. However, the survey reveals, Indian travellers (up to 59%) would never go for such cheap trips as they directly reflect on

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