Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) is set to host its first ever event in Asia – ‘AdventureNEXT’ – in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh from 10-12 December, 2018. The event was announced recently in New Delhi by ATTA, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board (MPTB), and Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI).
An MoU to mark the launch of this event was jointly signed by Shannon Stowell, CEO, ATTA; Hari Ranjan Rao, Commissioner Tourism and Managing Director of MPTB and Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI. A special logo for AdventureNEXT in India was also unveiled during the ceremony.
Speaking at the event, Stowell spoke about the contributions of adventure tourism towards economic development and equitability, “Adventure tourism, it is clear, has a significant impact on not just the economy of a region, but also on equitability. Through data analysis we have come to understand that adventure tourism, as opposed to mass tourism, contributes more to the local economy – in terms of the proportion of money that actually stays within the destination. Furthermore, one of the key contributions of adventure tourism is that it contributes significantly to rural communities, giving employment opportunities to women in particular. What is clear is that adventure tourism, while a smaller sector, is very powerful and leaves a lot for the locals to benefit from.”
Speaking about Madhya Pradesh as the host destination for the first AdventureNEXT in Asia, Rao said, “Madhya Pradesh is a state that has an abundance of natural resources and cultural heritage. The wildlife and geographic features of the state make it an ideal adventure destination with unique offerings. As professionals working in the travel and tourism industry, we must also recognise that tourism is one of the best ways of creating jobs and eradicating poverty. We therefore believe that we must do justice to the innate beauty of the land by connecting visitors and tourists with the local cultures. Adventure tourism is the way forward for Madhya Pradesh to take advantage of the travel and tourism industry, and AdventureNEXT is the best way to accomplish this.”
Capt. Kumar also highlighted the commitment of ATOAI towards expanding its reach across India: “The adventure tourism industry has witnessed a paradigm shift in India. Earlier, there was an emphasis on traditional adventure destinations, such as the Himalayan regions, and on conventional adventure activities such as trekking, mountain climbing etcetera. The focus, while still very much on these traditional destinations, has now expanded towards regions such as Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala etcetera. There is a huge surge in demand for newer adventure destinations, and therefore, the Association is committed to expanding across India. It is an honour and a privilege to be associated with ATTA and MPTB in this venture.”