Leading adventure travel firm, Active Holiday Company recently released the findings of the first ever survey conducted to understand the behavioural, psychographic and demographic profile of Indians taking adventure trips internationally. Through October and November, a representative sample of International travellers was interviewed across metros and Tier 2 cities with the objective of getting insights into the Adventure Travel Segment – slotted by Adventure Travel Trade Association as the fastest growing travel segment in the world. This is the first time such a survey has been undertaken in India.
- The survey showed that as many as 58.62% Indians have taken an adventure holiday in the past 2 years and Indians are spending an average of Rs.8900 per night excluding flights and visas on such trips.
- Some of the key activities that Indians are engaging in are trekking, wildlife safaris, outdoor photography, cycling and rafting.
- Thailand, followed by USA and then Malaysia are the most popular destinations for these activities. As a region, Europe’s popularity exceeds that of the Far East, though travel is fragmented to various countries like UK, Spain, France, Germany etc.
- The average duration of the International adventure trips taken by Indians is 8.65 days.
- Although 62.25% reported prior adventure travel experience in India, only 28.1% invested in special equipment for their trips.
- Not surprisingly, online research is the most popular pre-research tool and word of mouth is trusted over social media.
Referring to UNWTOs first 8 months report for 2014 that reported India as top growth source market in expenditure terms with 31% rise, Gauri Jayaram, Founder of Active Holiday Company commented: ‘India outbound travel is extremely important, yet there is little research available on niche touring styles who will make up a huge chunk of travellers in the future. Being an authentic experiential style, Adventure Travel is important for any country as it connects travellers with grass roots helping economic progress at the local community level and this survey is an attempt to bridge the gap for countries (tourism boards), tour operators and Indian travel agents who want to invest in developing this segment.’
In accordance with International norms, the survey considered the purpose of travel to define the scope of ‘Adventure Travel’ and as such activities like hot-air ballooning, bungee jumping etc. are disregarded as part of adventure travel as they are incidental to travel itineraries but not the core purpose of travel.
The survey showed unlike their western counterparts, the gender ratio of Indian adventurers was heavily skewed towards men and 71.5% of travellers taking such trips are married as compared to the equal mix of single and married international travellers. The per day spends of Indians are also lower than the average spend of the international travellers and also of what Indians are typically spending on an average on international tours in Europe. ‘That however is the real opportunity that adventure travel presents for Indians. The very nature of no-frills, basic style adventure trips makes it affordable for Indian travellers to realize their International travel dreams while combining it with unique different experiences making the travel more meaningful to them’ concluded Gauri Jayaram.
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