The Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), K. J. Alphons launched the Guidelines by the Government of India on Adventure Tourism in New Delhi today. These guidelines on Safety and Quality Norms for Adventure Tourism in India have been formulated along with the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) in an effort to make adventure sports safer.Releasing the guidelines, the Tourism Minister said India has immense potential for adventure tourism ranging from the Himalayas to the coastal regions. Shri. K. J. Alphons said that these guidelines are a beginning to building adventure tourism in India and extended whole support to all stakeholders for developing this niche sector so as to tap the whole potential offered. The Minister also added that for India to be a well sought after destination, the facilities and support staff should be developed to global standards.Speaking at the event, Secretary Tourism, Smt. Rashmi Verma said that the guidelines have been formulated in consultation with all stakeholders like State Governments, Tour operators and now they need to be adopted so that India could be an internationally acclaimed adventure tourism destination.ATOAI President, Shri. Swadesh Kumr extended his gratitude to the Ministry and other stakeholders in bringing out the guidelines document and added that the association is keen to bring all the stakeholders involved into the organised sector.
The aim of this initiative is to help adventure tour operators understand and execute safety guidelines in a better manner. These guidelines cover land, air and water based activities which include mountaineering, trekking, bungee jumping, paragliding, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, river rafting and many other sports. The guidelines have been framed for 15 Land Based, 7 Air Based and 7 Water Based activities which cover the entire gamut of Adventure Tourism available in India and that the guidelines codify the Standard Operating Procedures and instructions for Risk Mitigation and Emergencies as well as provide for details like Safety precautions, training required, insurance, etc. The information given covers some major areas such as the role of a guide, important equipment required, inspections and maintenance process, operating instructions, risk mitigation, medical safety etc. Detailed guidelines covered in the document focus on safety from every possible angle. It educates tour operators and other concerned agencies about important safety requirements and lesser-known dangers. In order to put a strong foothold in the field of adventure sports, better safety measures are mandatory. It is imperative that all adventure tourism stakeholders provide for better vigilance and strict adherence to these guidelines.