On the behest of ATOAI, the Secretary Tourism, Mr. Vinod Zutshi very supportively took the initiative of announcing of a National Task Force on Adventure Tourism for development and promotion of Adventure Tourism in India and to resolve the issues related to Adventure Tourism which includes safety and security of tourists.
The National Task Force (NTF) will be chaired by Secretary Tourism. The team will comprise of Joint Secretary Tourism as the convener, Joint Secretaries of MHA, MEA, Ministry of Civil Aviation, MoEF, MOD, Ministry of Sports, Director- Indian Mountaineering Foundation, Principal- IISM, Gulmarg, Director – National Institute of Water Sports, Goa, President of ATOAI, Representative of ATOAI, secretaries of all states concerned with Adventure Tourism and Dy. Director General (Niche Tourism)
“It is time for the world to look at India for more than just history and culture. We have deserts and coastlines, mountains and ski slopes, forests and rivers – there really is no country in the world that can boast of such a vast natural heritage. However, adventure travel is facing challenges on multiple fronts, across almost every region of India. Safety, accessibility, licensing and standards are the four pillars of any adventure travel destination and we have to deal with multiple ministries and offices to address these issues.
The formation of the National Task Force on Adventure Travel will not only attempt to address these challenges, but at the same time, will be able to highlight our vast plethora of natural assets to international markets – which have till now been ignored. I’am grateful to Mr. Vinod Zutshi our dynamic Tourism Secretary, and his team for understanding the urgent need for the task force and putting this in place in record time”, said Akshay Kumar- President of ATOAI.
“We are indeed very grateful to him for this, as this will give a very high powered forum through which the latent potential of our very vast field will be unlocked. It will allow the great geographical features of India and the adventure tourism opportunities there to become a focus for development and promotion through out the global markets. This in turn will make the field grow tremendously in revenues, helping Indian tourism to potentially double the number of international tourist arrivals in India.
Further, it will lead to great economic development and job creation in the remotest regions of India. Further, norms and rules will be created for greater orientation towards safety standards to be established through out the country. It will set up the base for a great lead forward to the active and adventure tourism field in India”, said Mr. Sanjay Basu- Sr. Vice President of ATOAI.
The function of the Task Force will be:
• To draw up the short and long term goals and strategies for the promotion of Adventure Tourism.
• To consider issues relating to Adventure Tourism, Special “X” mountaineering Visa for climbing, Opening of small air-strips for Adventure Tourism, emergency evacuation purposes and opening of more peaks for expeditions etc.
• To provide necessary guidance to mountaineers ragarding security and sefety.
• To make recommendations regarding need for Adventure Tourism promotion schemes and to coordinate with tours/travel operators for affordable & attractive packages etc.
• To strenthen, deepen and broaden cooperation among all the stake holders in the field of Adventure Tourism, ensuring and promoting responsible practices in the industry.
• To focus on the development of India’s natural geographical features and its natural heritage in order to promote adventure, soft adventure, luxury and leisure activities in such regions allowing for creation of sustainable and eco-friendly tourism concepts, assets and activities.
• Formulation of guidelines for enforcing of minimum safety norms to be made mandatory on the concerned states and the Industry as a whole.
• Tax concessions to be considered for a period of time to allow the rapid development of this industry which has the potential for creating jobs and employment opportunities in remote regions of the country.
• Develpment of training and certification programs through the adventure spots instituions focusing on adventure tourism keeping in mind both safety and sustainability requireents of the industry.
• Recognise the vast potential that our Natural Heritage provides as an economic asset through Tourism. This wil include our Wildlife and Forests, Rivers, Mountains, Islands, Deserts and Coastilines, Back Waters and Deltas.
• To monetise these assets through adventure tourism in holistic manner.
• To identify and promote activities in categories such as wildlife, Forests,Rivers, Mountains, Islands, Deserts and Coastilines, Back Waters and Deltas.