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Future of adventure sports post-pandemic

After almost two years of restricted or no movement, owing to the viral outbreak, most of the world population is catching cabin fever. The mundanity of lockdown lives and work-from-home regimes has finally caught on and thus, a majority of the people are looking forward to embarking on small, local travels as the restrictions phase-out.

The increasing popularity of adventure tourism

In the present circumstance, one particular area of tourism that seems to be gaining rapid popularity is adventure tourism. Since lives have been growing increasingly dull and having frequent vacations is not a possibility, both due to the virus outbreak, people are trying to get as much enthrall out of a single vacation as possible. Thus, adventure tourism has been growing tremendously in recent times as mentioned in a recent report by Research and Markets that underlined that the market of global adventure tourism that has a value of approximately US$658 million in 2019 will reach US$2.02 billion within the next decade at a CAGR of 10.7 per cent. It also mentions the APAC region to be one of the fastest growing areas with India emerging as a leader.

The main attraction of adventure tourism is the adventurous aspect associated with it. Usually, adventure tourism involves trips to places offering exotic locations and some local and exclusive types of adventure sports such as bungee jumping, rafting, flying fox etc. These places and activities typically attract youngsters who seek thrill in their life but now we see families also lean towards experiential travel.

The future scope of adventure sports

The number of people seeking adventure into their regular trips has increased significantly. Thus, adventure sports and tourism are on the rise. Some causes of this rise, apart from the adventure offered, are discussed as below-

Sustainable Tourism- This sector of tourism involves tourism that minimizes its impact on the environment. It is a growing trend in the tourist industry as people are becoming increasingly concerned with the well-being of the planet. According to the 2020 report by World Travel and Tourism Council, sustainability is one of the four major pillars that will shape the future of travel. Thus, post-pandemic, sustainable tourism is likely to retain, if not increase, its attraction. Since adventure sports and travel are usually to places located in nature, they are typically sustainable adventure friendly.

Refreshing to the body and mind- According to a report by National Center for Biotechnology Information, physical activity, especially out in nature, refreshes the body and mind. Adventure sports allow the tourists to be physically active throughout their trip and chase a unique kind of thrill. It is a boost of adrenaline that invites people to adventure sports and it is likely to gain further momentum in the future.

Growing demand for nature and social interaction- The pandemic has deprived human beings of spending time in nature and having social company. Human beings are becoming increasingly frustrated with the new Covid- created normal. In this scenario, adventure travel and sports can prove to be of some help. By providing quality and fun time in nature with other groups of people, adventure sports are the perfect respite to this growing frustration.

Expectations from the Government

Controlling and solving the spread and consequent problems caused by the pandemic has definitely been a tough task for the Government. However, with things getting better, the Government is slowly but carefully phasing out certain restrictions.

As travel opens up, the Government is paying special attention to curbing any spread. The new travel protocol requires all incoming tourists to carry a negative RT-PCR report while entering India and then again undergo the test once in India. The Prime Minister has also advised State Governments of popular tourist attractions to ensure that all safety protocols are being met. Most states have their individual protocols, but what remains steady is the need to wear masks and maintain social distancing. Due and consistent checks are being made to verify if the tourists and the natives are abiding by the guidelines. In case someone fails to do the needful, fines are being levied by the Government. We are individually responsible for our safety and services and companies that are opening up and inviting customer interaction need to take the utmost care of the discipline and safety in their transactions.

All the industries across the world have undergone drastic changes in their patterns to accommodate the Covid pandemic and the precautions it has necessitated. While staying healthy and disease-free is important, it does not have to be at the cost of fun and happiness. As the pandemic is finally getting under control and the restrictions are easing out, travel is gaining its momentum across the world again. With time, adventure travel and the adventure sports are likely to see a surge.

By Captain Rahul Nigam, Managing Director and Founder, Jumpin Heights

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