Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Indians gear up for adventure holidays, reveals TripAdvisor’s Adventure Travel Survey

  • 46% respondents claim they are willing to try out extreme adventure sports
  • Over 50% planning holiday in next 6 months with the purpose to participate in an adventure activity/extreme sport
TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel site, announced the results of its Adventure Travel Survey highlighting the evolving trends and preferences of the Indian traveller.  When quizzed on what kind of holiday experiences they consider as adventure travel, 77% respondents felt that a retreat to a natural environment or remote location/wilderness qualified as adventure travel for them. Further, 44% believe that exploring an upcoming tourism destination with limited infrastructure would be an adventurous holiday and 36% state that a sports/physical activity-based holiday is what adventure is all about.   

According to Nikhil Ganju, Country Manager, TripAdvisor India, “The Adventure Travel Survey clearly demonstrates the Indian traveller’s enthusiasm to add a dose of adventure to their holidays.  About 53% of survey respondents claimed to be planning a holiday with the primary purpose of participating in an adventure activity/sport within the next 6 months, with most popular activities ranging from camping and paragliding  to bungee jumping, sky diving and scuba diving.  
He adds, “However, the survey also reveals that the perception of Indian adventure instructors/operators is abysmal among travellers, with over 50% respondents showing little faith in them for organising activities with an element of risk-safety being the primary concern.”  

On the adventure ride
According to the Adventure Travel Survey, primary reasons that emerged as to why travellers love adventure activities were:
  • Majority of the respondents (58%) said it was their love for varied life experiences
  • 35% respondents agreed it was a sense of achievement/ accomplishment, with 35% also citing thrill, excitement and a sense of risk as the reason that draws them to adventurous activities.
Although 47% of the respondents pre-plan their adventure activities, 37% said such activities are more spontaneous decisions when they are on holidays. 

Also, friends are clear winners as company on adventure travel with 72% respondents claiming them as their first and foremost choice. Understandably, the next preference is spouses, with 47% respondents wanting to pursue their adventure activities with their better halves.

Adrenaline junkies to be
While the share of respondents who claimed to participate in extreme sports regularly or occasionally was a surprising 30%, what was even more impressive was the willingness of travellers to try such activities.  About 16% claimed to be open and willing to participate in all extreme sports while another 31%, who had never participated in an extreme sport, were willing to try it out at least once in their life. And if they get addicted to the adrenaline, who knows?  

Interestingly, not only are Indians willing but as much as 61% respondents are confident they are absolutely fit for any form of adventure sports.

The price to pay

Adventure travel comes at a heavy price with cost acting as a deterrent for many travellers. Confirming this, 60% respondents admit they have changed their mind and backed out from an adventure activity as it was simply too expensive.

This may not be an exaggeration as a hot air balloon ride in Masai Mara, Serengeti in Kenya or Luxor, Egypt can set you back by up to Rs 20,000 or more. In fact, for the same experience in Jaipur and Ranthambore you would still dish out upwards of Rs. 10,000 for an hour in the skies.  Similarly, skydiving in Dubai may leave your wallet lighter by Rs. 25,000 or more, which is not different for what you may pay for the sport at Aamby Valley in Maharashtra.

Another very disappointing survey finding is lack of faith in Indian operators/instructors for organising risky adventure activities. As much as 51% respondents clearly refused to indulge in adventure activities  which involved an element of risk, either in India or if they were managed by Indian instructors, even if it was in a foreign country.

The top 2 reasons travellers seem to think of India and Indian operators as unsafe bets for such activities are:

Poor quality/maintenance of equipment
Overall low standards of safety


Top 5 destinations travellers said they would consider for adventure activities...

  • Goa
  • Himachal Pradesh
  • Leh & Ladakh
  • Rishikesh in Uttarakhand
  • Andaman & Nicobar islands
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Thailand
  • Switzerland
  • Spain


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