With a variety of adventure activities on offer, the North East area of India has become a must-visit tourism destination in recent years. Disha Shah Ghosh spoke with Amit Periwal, Director of Clubside Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd and Chapter Chairman, East India, ATOAI, about their offerings for the area, difficulties, and plans to expand their geographic reach.
- There is still a lack of significant understanding of the tourism prospects in the North East. Tell us about some of the travel services you provide in this area.
The North East has historically been a remote and undiscovered treasure on the tourist map. When international travel was prohibited due to the epidemic, however, it spurred people to explore their own country. This time period saw a notable rise in public knowledge of the North East.
Our programs accommodate a wide range of interests, such as cultural excursions, tribal tours, spiritual journeys, wildlife, daring treks, and delectable gourmet experiences. Our extensive festival programming ensures that visitors can fully experience the vivacious celebrations of the North East, where each state has its own unique festivals. Our excursions offer something special for every traveler, whether they like to immerse themselves in cultural traditions, form relationships with indigenous tribes, find spiritual solitude, or savor the diverse wildlife.
In India, the adventure travel market is still a tiny fraction of the overall market. Which of your items are the most popular in that industry?
In India, the adventure travel market is expanding at the fastest rate. Everyone now seeks out some aspect of the experience that they can take with them and keep in their memories forever.
Being successful at something that involved some risk is always tremendously fulfilling. We have the opportunity to cater to a variety of adventure activities in the East and North East, including soft adventure activities like hiking, medium- and high-altitude trekking, overnight camping excursions, wildlife viewing, and now that we have operations in the Andamans, all water adventure activities as well.
You have offices in Guwahati, Kolkata, Darjeeling, Siliguri, and Port Blair, in addition to one you recently opened. Tell us why these locations are so important to your company.
The main points of entry and exit for the East and North East are these locations. East India has three international airports: Bagdogra, Guwahati, and Kolkata. Recently, the new terminal building at Port Blair’s international airport was also opened. These locations become very crucial strategically for us to guarantee the caliber of service delivery. Being present at the entry points gives us the chance to properly set the expectations for the remainder of the tour. Because we frequently operate in remote regions with sparse infrastructure, it’s crucial to make sure that tourists are well informed and know what to expect when they visit the isolated locations.
How difficult is it to plan a customized adventure travel both domestically and abroad, given that this market is so specialized?
Whether it is an adventure travel in India or abroad, planning one is a difficult task. It necessitates adherence to safety procedures, in-depth product familiarity, and skillful client expectation management. For the participants’ safety and wellbeing, risk reduction and having clear evacuation plans are essential. Careful planning and coordination are necessary to deal with remote locations’ poor infrastructure and connectivity. For a seamless and exceptional adventure tour, developing strong local ties with knowledgeable guides is essential. Despite the difficulties, the rewarding result of offering customers opportunity for personal growth and amazing experiences makes it all worthwhile.
What initiatives is the ATOAI East Chapter pursuing?
At HMI in Darjeeling, we held a First Aid, Survival, Rescue, and CPR program in January. ATOAI East Chapter launched this with assistance from India Tourism’s Kolkata Office. Grp Cap Jai Kishan, Principal HMI, was really helpful and agreed to hold the training there with qualified instructors. In the next months, we also want to offer the participants a refresher course.
Siliguri and Darjeeling both hosted the G20 Tourism Meeting on Adventure. With government representatives, adventure tour operators, travel bloggers, and adventure fans, this was a fantastic chance for us to promote our region and the potential of adventure tourism in the nation.
We will shortly begin organizing for a seminar, a buyer-seller meet just for adventure in the area, and another certification course for adventure first aid, CPR, and wilderness responder that will be held in Siliguri in January.
Source- Travel biz