By Arijit Dutta Managing Director Priya Entertainments Pvt Ltd
The travel and tourism industry, along with the related sectors contributing to it, is expected to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years. A job in this industry can be highly exciting and adventurous and even pays well. In India, the travel industry hopes to create 46 million job opportunities by 2025. Though it was slow to take off in this country, the government’s initiatives in this field are uncovering a bright future for those who want to make a career in this field.
India’s potential in the field of travel and tourism is hardly close to being fulfilled. The country is a geographical anomaly, having almost all the geographical features available. According to a report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), India could possibly add another Rs. 8, 50,000 crores by the year 2020-just through tourism! WTTC calculated that tourism generated 8.31 lakh crore or 6.3 percent of the nation’s GDP in 2015 and supported 37.315 million jobs, which is about 8.7 percent of its total employment.
About adventure tourism
We all like a bit of adventure in our lives, don’t we? That’s why lots of people are no longer content with holidays just chilling on the beach and watching the clouds float by. No, no, no, that would be far too simple! Far too civilized! We want action. We want paragliding, skiing, mountaineering and abseiling: the whole lot!
And who can blame us?
Of course, we need someone to keep us in line, someone to show us the ropes. We can’t just go abroad and start throwing ourselves out of planes and off cliffs. That would be mental. That’s where adventure tourism comes into play.
Requirements to be involved in adventure tourism
A career in adventure tourism has got to be one of the most exhilarating paths you can take. You’ve got to be adventurous, confident, passionate, and perhaps a little bit nuts too. Furthermore, you will be keen to impart your wisdom and experience on others, so that they too can enjoy the thrill ride of adventure sports.
You could be doing absolutely anything, absolutely anywhere in the world: teaching rock-climbing in Australia, surfing in Malibu or kayaking in Wales. The possibilities are endless!
Some of the most sought-after positions include tour guide, outdoor education officer and outdoor activity coordinator. You might be working in outdoor pursuit centers, holiday resorts, national parks or specialist adventure sports centers.
Regardless of the role you take on, it’s essential to obtain specialist health and safety training before making a foray into the industry. As far as skills and attributes are concerned, it’s imperative that you’re an absolute expert in your field. You really need to know your stuff, from top to bottom, inside out. If you’re leading a rock-climbing course, you need to be utterly in control of your own movements, so you can keep a check on everyone else. On top of this, you need to be an excellent communicator with bags of patience. People will pick things up at different paces, so you’ll need to adapt accordingly.
Adventure tourism careers are quite competitive, so it’s important to try and keep ahead of your competitors. Get plenty of experience and volunteer where necessary. For example, if you’re a keen climber, a role at your local climbing wall will give you invaluable experience.
A career in adventure tourism definitely stems from your own interests in adventure sports. Surfing, snowboarding, mountaineering- anything goes, as long as you’re passionate about it!
Tour guides are responsible for guiding tourists around certain landmarks or attractions.
The mindset has to be one of a daredevil and have a go at some of the wackiest professional choices and of course, you need to educate and train yourselves towards achieving the career goals.
To be in the field of Adventure tourism you must be adventurous, confident and passionate. Not only do you have to be confident in your own ability, but you also need to have the expert ability to teach others as well as to deal with emergency situations. As this tourism sector involves dangerous activities you are all the more responsible for the safety of the tourists. Other attributes include physical fitness, coordination skills, critical thinking skills, good communication skills, planning, and organizational skills. An ability to get along and work well with others is also necessary. They must also have expert knowledge of safety and emergency procedures. Proficiency in at least one foreign language is necessary as the candidate might have to deal with tourists from across the world.
Career Prospects in Adventure Tourism
More adventurous tourists get the more possibility of exploring new destinations and recreation arise, there is a growing need for qualified adventure instructors. Adventure Tourism offers careers as an Adventure Tour operator, Tour Guide, Safari Guide, Travel and Information Consultant, Diver, Adventure Sports Trainer, Adventure Photographer, Wildlife Photographer and many more. Employment opportunities arise with tour companies, eco-adventure resorts, holiday resorts, leisure camps, excursion agencies, commercial recreation centers, and sports centers. This gives a career option of setting set up their own adventure sports center in their area of specialization.
Job in the adventure tourism sector does not have a specific salary structure. Salary differs depending on the career opportunity, location, job responsibilities and whether the position is full time or seasonal. In majority cases adventure tourism jobs are seasonal. So it not possible to expect fixed income throughout the year. But to begin with, one can expect a salary ranges from Rs. 7,000 – 12,000 per month. Income in a self-employment venture depends on the size and nature of the operation; it is obviously more than being employed.
Some of the institutions
National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Hyderabad
Mangalore University: Department of Business Administration, Mangalagangothri
Pondicherry University: School of Management, Puducherry
Anna University, Chennai
Ridges Institute of Tourism Studies, Kozhikode for Diploma in Adventure Tourism Management
Post Graduate Diploma in Travel and Tourism Management
Mount Carmel College, Bangalore
Indian Hotel Academy, New Delhi
Those who are very clear and passionate about pursuing a career in adventure tourism, there are few colleges abroad that offer Bachelor program in Adventure Education.
About the author– Arijit Dutta is the owner of the iconic Priya cinema apart from the Bioscope brand of multiplexes. Arijit Dutta has been a pioneer in bringing Eco Adventure Resorts in Bengal with the Khairabera Eco Adventure Resorts in Purulia and the latest is the tie-up with Sikkim Government for setting up the Temi Tea Eco Adventure Resorts in Sikkim.