India is seeing huge growth in terms of “Experience” based outings largely fueled by the millennia’s, who look for unique experiences through travel. Movies like ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ have been instrumental in portraying the fun of outdoors and travel. Social media being the latest in thing Indian tourism has seen a spurt in all travel and leisure segment.
Sky is the limit
Unique resort experience have cropped up all across the country providing bungee jumping, paragliding, hot air ballooning, desert safaris, dune bashing. Water Sports like white water rafting, water scooter, banana boat ride, scuba diving, snorkeling are gaining popularity. Earlier these only had young crowd as its user base which has now shifted to being all inclusive.
Easy entry and the lure of making a quick buck has made many people enter the industry without proper permissions and licenses. The operators many times do not hold the proper certification to operate the activities in a safe manner resulting in accidents. Many times small operators do not have the funds to buy brand new or top of the line equipment and go in for damaged or used equipment.
They do not have the resources or the skill set to check for the defects due to lack of knowledge and training. Their inexperience often leads to accidents, which sometimes are fatal and bring a bad name to the entire “Adventure Tourism Industry”.
In India, the adventure tourism segment is largely unorganised thereby making it difficult for authorities to keep a tab on the operator’s credentials. The general mentality of make do and bribery at local level also adversely affects the entry of professional operators into the segment.
What the users need to look for in any adventure activity operator:
- Always check if the equipment used does not have frayed to worn out parts.
- Always ask for how long the operator has been operating. (Always choose someone, who has more than three years’ experience under his belt.)
- Always ask for operator’s license.
- Always insist on certification of the person conducting the activity.
- Always ask the operator the entire process of the activity before.
- Check if First Aid is available on site.
- Always research online about the adventure sport you are participating into to know the basics of the activity.
- Always follow the instructions of the operators without hesitation. (This is most important.)
- Always search for the operators credentials online before choosing the activity.
- For all water sports always wear a life jacket while entering the boat/water. (This applies even if you are a great swimmer.)
- Do not overestimate your skills and be aware of signage and adhere to locals’ advice.
- Bungee jumping and zipline in Rishikesh.
- White water rafting in Kolad, Maharashtra.
- White water rafting in Dandeli, Karnataka.
- Snorkeling in Tarkarli, Maharashtra.
- Scuba diving in Goa.
- Hot air balloon ride in Rajasthan.
- Paragliding at Bir Billing, Himachal Pradesh.
- Snow skiing in Auli, Uttarakhand.
- Zipline at Mehrangad, Rajasthan.
- Mountain biking in Leh, Ladakh.
- Dune bashing and desert safari in Rajasthan.
- ATV rides on beach at Kashid, Maharashtra.
- Crocodile river safari, Nagpur, Maharashtra.
- Trekking in Sikkim.
- Scuba diving in Havelock, Andaman.