Completing 25 years of its existence in 2019, the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) is planning to celebrate the occasion in an innovative way.
Sharing fond memories of 25 years since its inception on September 22, 1994, the founding member and current President of ATOAI, Captain Swadesh Kumar said that it is a wonderful achievement for the association and its members.
“For me it is a proud moment to complete 25 years of the existence of our association. I still remember, when we started the association, there were only 6-7 members on board and today we have more than 500 members. We had started with a very small setup and I am happy with the wide and extended network of our association. Initially, we faced some resistance from other associations in establishing a separate association for adventure operators. After 25 long years, it is a matter of great joy that we are a well-accepted and recognised partner of the travel trade industry,” he recalled.
Ministry of Tourism recognised 2018 as the ‘Year of Adventure’, which was a boost for ATOAI. The government also released the new adventure tourism guidelines
Talking about celebrating the silver jubilee anniversary, Kumar said, “Big way doesn’t mean only having a party and enjoying. It will be a part of the celebration but what we are thinking is how we can give something back to the society and communities, where we have worked. Our aim is now that we are going to adopt villages, where we will help the younger generations by training them to become professionals and earn through good jobs. Planning is under- way,” he said.
“Last year was very fruitful for ATOAI. The Ministry of Tourism also recognised 2018 as the ‘Year of Adventure’, which was a big boost for us. The government also released the new ‘Indian Adventure Tourism Guidelines, Version 2.0’ in association with ATOAI for adventure activities around the country,” he added. Captain Kumar also informed that the Government of India has withdrawn permission for climbing 15 mountain peaks located in Sikkim.
So, now there are 122 mountains peaks open for climbing instead of earlier notified 137 peaks. “Kanchenjunga and few others are considered holy mountains for the community, there was a protest from the Sikkim government and the demands were accepted, eventually. If the local community doesn’t want the peaks open for climbing, why should the industry use force?” said Kumar.