The Outdoor Travel Industry

By Khyati Bhinde, CEO, Chogori India Retail Business Head for a number or large outdoor brands including Columbia Sportswear across India, Khyati is responsible for all functions including P&L Management, Growth Planning & GtM Strategy, Pricing, Operations, Buying & Planning

In less than 10 years, the World Travel and Tourism Council expect India to become the fourth largest travel & tourism economy in the world. Figures from India's ministry of tourism show that the number of tourist visits within India across the different states or domestic tourism visits, totaled 1.65 billion in 2017, with a CAGR of 12.1 percent over the last decade. This is attributed to higher disposable incomes, an increase in the middle class population, and accessibility to flights and trains at affordable prices, as well as an influx of assets in the hotel industry.

Within tourism, Adventure and Outdoor Tourism is gaining increased attention over due to its novel, experiential and adrenalin pumping nature. The Ministry of Tourism in India had also announced 2018 as `The Year of Adventure Tourism" and revealed that Indians spend on an average a total of INR 20,000 per head for adventure trip packages. Whereas, foreign travelers spend an average of USD 4,000 per head per
trip on adventure tourism in India. Adventure tourism can be pursued in the form of a day or multiple day trek, a camping trip, a Safari, a trip to paraglide, white water rafting, or even canoe. Being blessed with all terrains ranging from the mighty Himalayas to the back waters in Kerala and the desserts in Gujarat and Rajasthan India's landscape allows for a year round outdoor and adventure experience.

Today, more and more tourists are looking for a holiday beyond sight seeing and relaxing by the beach. The trend today is to go outdoors and ditch the exotic leisure holidays for an off beat experience. With this huge shift in trend more and more people prefer unconventional travelling and taking up trekking and hiking as their new "sport".

The travel industry in India hopes to create nearly 45 million jobs by 2025 and this is supported by government initiatives for those who want to make a career in this field

In taking an adventure trip, one needs to research the location, weather conditions, gear required and guides among other things. Safety is one of the most critical factors when it comes to outdoors and adventures, the right gear and equipment is the first step to ensure safety during such activities. Outdoor brands have realized the importance of making products that combine technology and design to protect and prepare for the worst weather conditions their customers might face in any terrain.

A job in the travel industry can be highly exciting and adventurous, there is so much to learn and explore and if you are an adventure enthusiast, work won't feel like a typical 9-5 job. The travel industry in India hopes to create nearly 45 million jobs by 2025 and this is supported by government initiatives for those who want to make a career in this field. In fact, there are specialized courses that offer Bachelors or a Master's degree in various sectors of travel and tourism. And employees in the outdoor travel industry need to possess a good knowledge of history, geography along with confidence and good interpersonal skills. Another very important feature of the travel industry is experience, the more experience you gather the better you can decode challenges across the way.