Major Changes in the Promotion of Adventure Tourism by 2018
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report, India's travel and tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country's GDP. BW Hotelier caught up with Swadesh Kumar, Founder of Shikhar Group of Companies to share his insight on the challenges, trends and employment generation in Travel and Tourism sector.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report, India's travel and tourism sector ranks 7th in the world in terms of its total contribution to the country's GDP. The report also stated that in the year 2016 the sector generated 40.3 million jobs, which marks India 2nd in the world in terms of total employment generated. BW Hotelier caught up with Swadesh Kumar, Founder of Shikhar Group of Companies to share his insight on the challenges, trends and employment generation in Travel and Tourism sector.
“Adventure Tourism is gradually emerging as a major source of employment generation in the far slung areas of the country, where no other tourism activity is taking place. This includes the Mountains, deserts, coastal areas, and wilderness and so on, “he said.
Kumar who is also the Founder President of Adventure Tour Operators Association of India shared that the Government of India has accepted the Association’s request to celebrate 2018 as ‘The Year of Adventure Tourism in India.’ “I am sure with this there will be a major change in the promotion of adventure tourism in India. We are planning a variety of activities during the year with the support of Ministry of Tourism,” he said.
He added that Skill development is one of the major demands of the industry and his association is helping states to provide such training in coordination with the state government. “Such training programmes were conducted in Madhya Pradesh twice and many activities planned for future,” he said.
Closely associated with the Travel and Tourism Industry for the last 40 years, Kumar feels that today’s traveller is a doer and he wants to be a part and parcel of every activity which he undertakes.
Speaking about the challenges Kumar said, “Adventure tourism industry is facing challenges due to the growth of unscrupulous elements in the market, agents who are handling the tours without correct knowledge or expertise on the product. This is giving a bad name to the industry and as such, we need to contain this.”
“Our Association has revisited the guidelines on ‘Basic Minimum Safety Standards’ which is being presented to the Ministry of Tourism and will be forwarded to the stake holders across the country to accept and follow the same. The entire adventure tour operator fraternity in the country will have a set of rules to follow and we are confident that the accidents will be reduced considerably.” Kumar added.
Kumar believes that to improve the tourism sector, one of the most important step is to put Tourism as a part of the curriculum in schools and colleges. “ It is an area which not only generates employment to the young generation but also contributes to the growth of the nation, it also helps to preserve the local heritage and culture, as well as the art and craft of the region,” he said.
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