The Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), in collaboration with the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat, is gearing up to host the Annual Adventure Tourism Convention 2023 from December 16 to 18 at the iconic Statue of Unity in Ekta Nagar. The convention, serving as a precursor to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024, aims to foster collaboration, innovation, and sustainable practices within the adventure tourism sector.
The convention seeks to discuss emerging trends, establish regulatory frameworks, and create a roadmap for the development of adventure tourism in Gujarat. Aligning with ATOAI guidelines recognised by the Ministry of Tourism, the focus is on safety measures and promoting a ‘leave no trace’ ethos.
Carbon-Negative and Plastic-Free Event
The Annual Adventure Tourism Convention 2023 aspires to be a ‘Carbon-Negative’ event, offsetting its carbon footprint through a tree-planting initiative during the convention. Sharing its commitment to sustainability, ATOAI has also pledged to making the event single-use-plastic free.
Eminent figures, including Chief Minister of Gujarat Bhupendra Patel, Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, and Tourism Minister Mulubhai Bera, will address the gathering. The event will also witness insights from notable personalities such as V Vidyavathi, Secretary Tourism, Lt General Rakesh Kapoor, Deputy Chief of the Army Staff (IS&C), Dr Sourabh Pardhi, Managing Director, Gujarat Tourism, and ATOAI President Ajeet Bajaj.
Economic Implications for Gujarat
Beyond immediate economic injections, the convention holds the potential to catalyze the growth of adventure tourism in Gujarat, attracting both domestic and international adventure enthusiasts. The diverse landscapes and cultural richness showcased during the convention can lead to increased employment opportunities and sustainable development.
Addressing the pre-convention press conference, Hareet Shukla, Secretary Tourism, Government of Gujarat, expressed the state’s commitment to exploring adventure tourism’s potential and establishing Gujarat as a premier adventure tourist destination in the next 2 to 3 years. With India’s diverse landscape, there is an immense opportunity for the country to become a global leader in adventure tourism. “In collaboration with ATOAI, we will explore adventure tourism in Gujarat and we aim to facilitate year-round tourism activities in Gujarat. Our objective is to establish the state as a premier adventure tourist destination in the next 2 to 3 years,” he said.
At the same time, ATOAI President Ajeet Bajaj outlined the immense potential for adventure tourism in India, aiming to place the country among the top 10 adventure travel destinations globally in the next decade. “Working closely with the Government of Gujarat, ATOAI is actively involved in shaping adventure tourism policies, skill development, safety guidelines, and sustainable practices. By 2024, the global adventure tourism industry is poised to become a trillion-dollar industry,” he said.
During the convention, participants will visit the Statue of Unity and the Sardar Sarovar Dam, experiencing exhibitions, thematic adventures, adventure activities, ATOAI awards, panel discussions, and cultural performances. There will also be thematic sessions on the ‘Implementation of National Strategy for Adventure Tourism’ and ‘Developing Adventure Tourism with a special focus on promoting Travel for LiFE program’ will be conducted.
These sessions cover a variety of topics, including Leave no Trace & Standard Operating Procedures, Reputation Management, Outdoor Adventure Education, Carbon Neutral – Make Your Ops Net Zero, Preserving the USP While Managing Risk, Sustainability – the New Responsibility, and Promoting Adventure Tourism in India.
The convention also offered three pre-convention FAM tours to the delegates helping them create exciting itineraries to promote adventure tourism in Gujarat.
The ATOAI convention 2023 emerges as a pivotal platform for industry professionals, enthusiasts, and policymakers to collaboratively shape the future of adventure tourism in India. With a commitment to best practices, the convention aims to propel India into the top tier of adventure travel destinations while championing sustainable development and responsible tourism practices.