September 29, 2017

Rahul Nigam, Founder and Managing Director of Jumpin Heights, talks about how adventure sports in India is poised to witness significant growth given that operators adhere to stringent quality and safety standards.

Anju Anna Alex

Adventure has always been a well anticipated respite from the humdrum of daily affairs. Hence, the popularity of adventure sports has grown by leaps and bounds, be it for bungee jumping, skydiving or others, with people accepting such activities as a regular rejuvenator. Yet the modern Indian demands for activities that are more challenging, to add a sense of validation and accomplishment in completing them. With globalization, the mindset has shifted to trying newer things in search of that rush of adrenaline. Additional to this, the rising Indian GDP gives substantial increase in the amount of readily dispensable cash, leading to people splurging on such engaging outings. India has limitless potential when it comes to adventure sports. However, with all the opportunities attached, India comes with its share of shortcomings as well. Lack of safety, infrastructure and awareness are the key inhibitors of the same. Scene is changing now, and stricter rule is being implemented.

Scope of adventure sports in India
One can contribute to the endless scope of adventure tourism in India to its diverse topography and climate- factors that have been famed for drawing in tourists. On land and water, under water and in the air, one can enjoy a veritable bouquet of adventure, fit for personal levels of thrill. It can be considered as one of the greatest opportunities to leave all inhibitions behind and just let go. This has brought a great deal of economy to even the remotest regions like Himachal Pradesh. In fact, the hilly districts of the nation have received additional boost from the advent of such activities. Regions like Rishikesh have aced the adventure sports wave by hosting a plethora of diverse activities in its serene environs. Today, business tour combined with active sports has become a highly popular trend across organisations; this is now a global corporate strategy for employee entertainment and well being. Moreover, rise of national and international championships such as Cricket World Cup, Soccer World Cup, Wimbledon, Commonwealth Games 2010, Delhi have lead to a hike in sports, encouraging the government to take a note of this emerging industry.

How has been the response for Jumpin Heights?
We just celebrated 50k Bungy Jumps this March, a landmark for adventure tourism in India. It’s been overwhelming and humbling. We are soon going to be expanding to Goa, and will market in that region soon as well.

What can be done to boost adventure tourism in general and adventure sports in particular?
The impact of safety cannot be stressed enough. Everything else is the packaging, like a good social media presence, a promotional video. But the appetite for extreme sports already exists in India, the fear is regarding the safety. To convert the adventure seekers into sales, safety must be given priority to, in terms of the execution, and as part of the brand communication.

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