Print Edition - 2015-02-06 | MONEY
14 Nepali participants join PATA Mart in Bhutan
-, THIMPHU, BHUTAN
Feb 5, 2015-
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2015 kicked off here on Thursday with around 14 Nepali tour operators and hotels participating in the event.
The three-day niche event aims to promote responsible development of tourism in the Asia Pacific region. It has brought together tourism professionals involved in adventure travel and responsible tourism to discuss the creation of new opportunities to promote environmental protection and social sustainability within the industry under the theme Explore Beyond Tourism—Celebrate Happiness.
Tour operators expect to encounter new frontiers and create new business opportunities in the high adventure tourism segment as its demand is rising day by day particularly in the Asian region.
“As we see a potential growth in the adventure tourism segment, particularly due to the rise in young Asian travellers, there is a need for exploring new destinations to cash in on the future potential,” said PATA CEO Mario Hardy. “However, adventure tourism that generates high incomes need to be promoted in a sustainable way.”
Despite the constant growth of the tourism sector in terms of visitors and economic impact on destinations, innovation in the sector is still untapped, participants said.
They underscored the need to look into new ways to apply technology in tourism services and products stating that the future prosperity of the tourism industry hinged
on whether the gaps in applying innovative solutions could be bridged.
“Consumer demand is increasing and participants are now wanting more diverse experiences,” said Suman Pandey, chairman of PATA Nepal Chapter. “And Nepal could be the perfect destination to meet the aspirations of travellers demanding adrenalin-pumping experiences,” Pandey said.
Pandey added that the business-to-business intro active event between buyers and sellers in adventure tourism would provide the perfect opportunity for Nepali operators to reach the right market through their marketing ability with this specialist approach within a limited budget. Growth in the adventure travel market has accelerated at a 65 percent yearly rate since 2009, according to Adventure Tourism Market Study. Adventure travellers spent more than $345 billion in 2012 for travel related to adventure.
Soft adventure options like hiking, kayaking, rafting, snorkelling, volunteer tourism and archaeological expeditions and hard adventure like caving, climbing, heli-skiing, kite surfing, trekking and paragliding were the major products attracting visitors.
Adventure travellers are younger than non-adventure travellers, with an average
age of 36. The average length of a soft adventure trip was 10 days in 2012 compared to eight days in 2009, according to the study.
Published: 06-02-2015 10:57