Published on : Friday, December 19, 2014
A recent study released by Active Holiday Company together with The Outdoor Journal on the size, travelling habits and preferences of India’s Adventure Travel Market indicates that Thailand is the most preferred country for adventure tourism out of India.
Ms Soraya Homchuen, Director, Tourism Authority of Thailand – Mumbai office says, “This is a matter of great pride for Thailand. Thailand’s varied landscapes – pristine beaches, mighty rivers, overpowering mountains, rolling plains and heavenly rainforests dotted with breathtaking waterfalls – offer a great deal of outdoorsy experiences to adventure-seeking travellers.”
Ms Gauri Jayaram, Founder, Active Holiday Company explains, “For this study we looked at adventurous experiences rather than independent adventurous activities fitted into holidays. We defined an adventure holiday as one where a major chunk of time is devoted to a physical activity or to time in natural surroundings, or to cultural learnings and interaction. It is no surprise that Thailand had an edge.”
Homchuen agrees saying, “Thailand makes an amazing variety of nature-driven experiences possible, such as canoeing, kayaking, surfing, sailing, camping, scuba diving, snorkelling, hiking, trekking, rock-climbing, paragliding and rafting. Experiences that the Indian market is yet to catch up with such as fishing and bird-watching are also possible in Thailand – in fact, during September we have a shellfishing and birdwatching festival in Cha-Am near Hua Hin! Besides this, cultural interaction with northern Thailand’s hilltribes via homestays and voluntourism is a tourist experience that travellers from India are becoming very interested in. A small segment of Indian travellers also choose to explore some destinations like Ayyuthaya, Kanchanaburi and Chiang Mai on a bicycle. Some really experienced adventure travellers go mountain biking in Chiang Rai.”
Thailand is also packed with events targetted at the adventure-seeker. Over 3,500 people (including 1,000 sailors) participated in the annual Phuket Kings Cup Regatta that concluded this week. Last weekend, on December 13,Thailand hosted the first ever “haunted” marathon: The U-Tapao Ripley’s Run featured three endurance disciplines: a 21 km half marathon, a 10.5 km quarter marathon and a 5 km micro marathon. The trail featured a scenic route, lush forest, beautiful canal and hillside track, as well as old buildings and used aircraft hangars within the grounds of the Royal Thai Naval Air Division. En route, the thousands of participants were thrilled with an eerie haunted atmosphere, along with more than 300 ghosts, that were brought in to enhance the fun and excitement for the run. Trekking enthusiasts should also hurry to make the most of the last few weeks of trekking season at the Phu Soi Dao National Park Phu Soi Dao National Park: with its highest peak situated at 2,102 metres above the sea level, the mountain is considered the fifth highest in Thailand. It features an exciting 6.5 km trail that covers a 7-tier waterall and pine forests.
Other interesting findings in the study include the fact that two-thirds of adventure tourists are male, 71% are married, nearly 60% have kids and 62% are full-time employees at various levels including top management. It seems to suggest that adventure tourists are perhaps wealthier, older and better educated than other categories of tourists.
Tags: Active Holiday Company, Adventure Travel Market, Thailand