As a pre-event to the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January 2024, ATOAI’s 15th Annual Adventure Tourism Convention 2023 by the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India supported by the Tourism Corporation of Gujarat was inaugurated today at Statue of Unity, Ekta Nagar.
The first day of the 15th Annual Convention began with a welcome address by the President of ATOAI, Padma Shri, Mr. Ajeet Bajaj shared that, ATOAI is working closely with the Bureau of Tourism to enhance the guidelines of adventure tourism across the country
During the day long convention, various keynote addresses, panel discussions, experience sharing on Adventure Tourism and the growth of the industry by dignitaries from Central and State Governments, industry leaders and experts took place.
Hon’ble Chief Minister of Arunachal Pradesh, Shri Pema Khandu while addressing the gathering shed light on various aspects of the state and the development that has taken place over the last years in the region. He also remarked that in terms of adventure tourism, Arunachal Pradesh along with the Northeastern region has numerous locations and activities to offer. He further said that, under the leadership of our Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, his visions like ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ have driven tourism in India and given a boost to the industry country-wide. The further goal is for us to develop vibrant villages to promote a sustainable model of tourism.
Hon’ble Minister of Tourism, Government of Gujarat, Shri Mulubhai Bera, shed light on ‘Making Gujarat a Leading Adventure Destination’. He said, “Under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gujarat’s tourism sector has received unparalleled fame. His initiatives, launched during his tenure as Chief Minister, have transformed the state’s tourism landscape. Gujarat has evolved as the preferred destination globally, Dhordo receiving the ‘Best Tourism Village’ Award from UNWTO, and Garba being declared ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO is a testament to the same. Sharing his insights on Adventure Tourism, he remarked, “The adventure tourism sector plays a crucial role in both our economy and employment, contributing significantly to the GDP. Events like this bring us together to delve into key areas of adventure tourism. Gujarat boasts diverse attractions, from mountains and forests to beaches, heritage sites, and pilgrimage spots. The pride of Gujarat’s tourism, the Statue of Unity, stands tall. With iconic sites like Polo Forest, Jambughoda Forest, Gir Forest, Saputara, and Shivrajpur Beach among others, Gujarat holds immense potential as an outstanding adventure tourism destination. With ATOAI‘s support, we aim to further explore and enhance Gujarat’s adventure tourism sector.”
A special address was given by the fitness enthusiast, and actor Milind Soman, wherein he highlighted the significance of adventure tourism in the country. Following a panel discussion on ‘The Adventure Trilogy – Mega Trails, Border Tourism & Vibrant Villages’ moderated by Deputy Chief of the Army Staff, DCOAS (IS & C), MoT, Lt. Rakesh Kapoor, the session also deliberated on promoting sustainable and eco-friendly adventure tourism in the country.
Secretary Tourism, Government of Gujarat, Shri Hareet Shukla, while addressing the convention said “Today, Gujarat leads as a destination for foreign tourists and stands among the top 5 states for domestic tourists, as per the India Tourism Statistics Report. The vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi, the then chief minister of Gujarat had set a pathway to transform the tourism sector in the state. Further in the last two years, Hon’ble Chief Minister Shri Bhupendrabhai Patel has continued the legacy forward and with a dedicated focus on tourism, he has spearheaded numerous initiatives, projects, and policies which is accelerating the tourism sector in the state.”
The convention witnessed various presentations on Gujarat Tourism, by Managing Director of Gujarat Tourism, Dr. Sourabh Pardhi, Punjab Tourism by Principal Secretary, Smt. Rakhee Gupta Bhandari, and Adventure Tourism in Jammu & Kashmir by Shri Amarjeet Singh, Special Secretary, Government of Jammu & Kashmir. During the event, an audio-visual film on adventure tourism in Gujarat was screened.
To further boost State’s tourism, in the lead up to the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in January 2024, Several MoU’s were signed to build capacities for knowledge-sharing on Adventure Tourism and MoU’s worth Rs. 770 cr were signed towards Film Shooting, and Infrastructure development.