Chennai: Though Tamil Nadu too has its share from the revenue generated through the adventure tourism segment in the country, which generates a revenue of Rs 1,772 crore, India could gain more if the attention of the domestic and international tourists are drawn, opine adventure tour operators.
The Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) have pitched in for opening up more trek trails to exploit the market potential. They requested the Centre to declare mountains below the height of 6,000 meters as trekking mountains and open them for adventure tourism activities. It was pointed out by ATOAI and IMF that at present only 130 peaks out of 4,000 have been opened for mountaineering and said many mountains could be allowed to explore to compete with Bhutan and Nepal.
ATOAI had also raised the issue of strict regulations imposed by the Union Forest and Environment Ministry that hampering adventure tourism. It is said 90 per cent of their activities are covered by these rules with the result country is not able to explore potential of its natural heritage. Till date there is no exact definition of adventure tourism in UNWTO literature, but the
Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) defines adventure tourism as a trip that includes atleast two of the following three elements: physical activity, natural environment and cultural immersion. Although adventure tourism only requires two of these components, trips incorporating all three tend to afford tourists the fullest adventure travel experience. About 73 per cent of the revenue is generated through package tours and the individual bookings is around the remaining 27 per cent of the total market size.