Kumarakom, a pristine destination, whereas the 13th Annual Convention of ATOAI (Adventure Tour Operators Association of India) took place from September 18 – 21, 2017, is a replica for diverse ways of tourism businesses in India. Be it adventure tourism, responsible tourism or Eco-tourism the destination is always in the forefront in achieving key goals of these tourism concepts which will normally lead a destination to sustainability in all means. Kumarakom is the first destination in India brought forward the concept of Responsible Tourism into practicality.
Adventure Tourism in India is changing rapidly its concept, focus of this niche segment is varying from hard adventures to soft adventures. Once upon a time, if somebody remembers about adventure, first thing coming in the mind was a picture of mountaineering, rafting in Ganges, Skiing in Himalayas, Mount Everest expedition etc. Fortunately situation was now transformed and is now an accessible activity for every traveller as part of their normal tour itinerary.
ATOAI (Adventure Tour Operators Association of India) convention at Kumarakom magnanimously stated that Adventure tourism is possible in Kerala too although Kerala has a little proven track record of adventure enthusiasts whose are running adventure tourism for over a two decades at North Malabar areas.
Accordingly, ATOAI team has explored various soft adventure activities including kayaking, cycling, trekking, houseboat safaris and village tours giving you an experiential tourism, available at Kumarakom and also other destinations in Kerala.
Quoting Satyajeet Rajan, Director General (Tourism, Government of India, “Adventure is now beyond Himalayas”. The segment is now open to all destinations in India, especially in South India. Kerala is one of the key destinations to be focussed in this arena.
Adding to it, Dr. V. Venu, IAS, Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Kerala said that Responsible tourism, a most relevant concept, which is to be promoted exceptionally sincerely all over India has taken seriously here at Kumarakom decades ago by adopting responsible tourism practices. Dr. Venu was one of the pioneers in bringing forward this concept of responsibility into practicality in this part of world.
Over 300 delegates from all over India have come together in Kumarakom, Kerala for the 13th Annual Convention of the ATOAI (Adventure Tour Operators Association of India). The inauguration of the event takes place on September 19 by Kadagampally Surendran, Honourable Minister of Tourism, Govt of Kerala along with Satyajeet Rajan, Director General Tourism, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Dr. V. Venu, IAS, Principal Secretary Tourism, Government of Kerala.
The theme for this year’s edition was EMERGING PATHWAYS. According to ATOAI, The global tourism industry is undergoing significant changes, with travellers increasingly preferring adventure and active holidays. The niche has not only become mainstream but is now leading it. The new traveller is driven by a desire for physical and mental transformations, feeling healthier and more alive in the process. He or she seeks to achieve this through discovery, learnings, unique experiences, meaningful stories, fun, thrills, new friendships and an expanded worldview. These are all inherent in adventure travel. Trends such as these will have implications on how travel business is conducted in the coming years.
According to Capt. Swadesh Kumar, President, ATOAI, “Every country has some adventure to offer, but India is a country that offers almost every adventure and active holiday experience that one can seek. Even as the definition of adventure has expanded, India has upped its game to offer all this. From mostly a mountain and wildlife destination, the country now offers much more: Skiing, water rafting, treks, road trips, off-road adventure, biking, cycling, scuba diving, river cruising, angling, bungee jumping, ballooning, caving, birding, adventure parks, nature retreats, culture, food, mountaineering and more. At any given time of the year, one can do most of these at some location in the country.”
“To achieve our desired objectives, ATOAI has proposed to the Ministry of Tourism that the year 2018 be declared a Year of Adventure in India,” he added.
Adding to this, Rajesh Ojha, Convention Chairman, said, “Since 1994, ATOAI has been at the forefront of influencing policy, helping members create capacity, training, establishing safety standards, ensuring sustainable practices and marketing. The year 2017 marks a watershed when the association has taken upon itself to raise the bar.”
The annual convention is supported and hosted by Kerala Tourism. ATOAI has invited all stakeholders to contribute in its resolve to make India the adventure capital of the world. These include Government, tourism boards, industry, experts and media.
ATOAI has ensured that its annual convention and events travel to different parts of the country to connect all stakeholders in the adventure tourism and to draw attention to host destinations.
RESORT MASTERS SPEAKS ON KUMARAKOM, ADVENTURE TOURISM AND THEIR INITIATIVES AT THE ONSET OF ATOAI CONVENTION 2017
JOSE DOMINIC, CEO, CGH EARTH GROUP
The concept of travel has changed a lot. Now people don’t want to go to same places and enjoy. People need a change and of course they like unpolluted natural ambience and experience a resort built within a pristine destination, not harming ecology of the destination and not spoiling the ecological balances of that particular destination, sharing economical benefits to local population, encouraging community based initiatives. However, we have recognized that gone are days wherein we can set up a resort in the middle of city and woo tourists.
Nature is an important factor to be preserved while developing new resort destinations. When we began Coconut Lagoon in 1993, there was not much travelling happened to Kumarkoam. We were the first resort group set up resort in Kurmarakom. Location of the resort is an island, accessible by boats only, no roads possibility in near future also. We were a little worried as people of substance in the industry often say “Why did you buy such a vast land without a road”. In fact we have decided to preserve this destination as it is, in its pure natural beauty. We wanted to give something different way of accessibility to our resort, so that we kept its accessibility through water transport still this time.
SARAT VALSRAJ, GENERAL MANAGER, THE ZURI KUMARAKOM, KERALA RESORT & SPA
Situated in one of the Emerald Towns in “Gods Own Country” Kerala, Kumarakom has become one of the most fascinating & preferred tourist destinations, in Kerala. Situated on one of the most Infinite expanse of the Vembanad Lake, right on the Kerala Backwaters, this town has been gifted with magnificent natural panoramic views, in the lap of nature. Spread over 14 acres, the Bird Sanctuary at Kumarakom, is also a major tourist attraction.. Among other Economic Activities, in the region, Agriculture, Fishing & Tourism, are most popular. Kumarakom has been declared as a ‘Special Tourism Zone, by Government of Kerala, since 2005.
The Zuri Kumarakom, Kerala Resort & Spa offers wide array of soft adventure activities. Following are key activities:
Boat ride in Vembanad Lake
With traditional Kettuvallams, the boat houses, which cruise through the captivating beauty of the Kerala Backwater, are a true feast for the eyes.
We recommend a boat ride on one of these country crafts concluding at the evening sunset hours, while you watch the ripples of the lake slowly turn into still waters.
A visit to Midnight Sands
The 40-minute boat ride to Pathiramanal (Midnight Sands) from Kumarakom is one the most blissful route on the Vembanad Lake. Once you arrive at the Island, you could never afford to miss out on the exquisite species of migratory birds that enliven the true essence of beauty & peaceful living, amidst the lush and adventurous island.
Indoor activities include (paddle boat, bamboo rafting in the lagoon), cycling, fishing. Games rooms have a Bridge Table and Billiards table.
ANAND NAIR, GENERAL MANAGER, VASUNDHARA SAROVAR PREMIERE
Vasundhara Sarovar Premiere, Vayalar offers you a plethora of activities, whether you’re interested in sightseeing, nature or adventure. Within the property, too, there are a host of things to keep you and your family entertained, relaxed and energized.
UNWIND AT VASUNDHARA
Infinity pool that overlooks the rainwater lake
Fishing deck so you can attempt a catch of the legendary karimeen and poomeen from our private lake
Houseboat cruises both day and overnight
Water sports with speed boat trips, pedal boats, a canoe, a rowboat and sunset cruises.
All water and adventure sports are conducted by trained personnel
Sport & Indoor
If you’re interested in outdoor activities and interacting with nature, we’ve got a range of options for you and the kids.
Walking/jogging trail around the property
Cycles available to explore the property and around
Outdoor childrens’ play areas near the pool
6000 sq ft indoor activity centre for kids with pool table, table tennis, board games and video games