Adventure tourism gains popularity

With the growing number of youths arriving in Nepal, the country has emerged as a preferred adventure tourism destination.

The Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA)’s recent statistics show that there has been a quality increment in the number of youths arriving in the country for adventure tourism.

The Tourism Statistics 2012 shows that the number of youths who are in the 16-30 year age group are the ones visiting the country mainly for adventure tourism and the figure is increasing every year.

Government statistics state that in 2012 there was an increment of about 21.7 per cent in total tourist arrivals for adventure tourism that is trekking and mountaineering. In 2011, a total of 86,260 tourists visited the country for trekking and mountaineering and the number jumped to 105,015 in 2012.

Of the total, tourist arrivals of age group 16-30 have increased by 22.6 per cent. Total tourist arrivals in 2012 was at around 803,092.

“The history of adventure tourism in Nepal started some six decades ago during the early attempts to ascend the world’s highest peak, Mt Everest,” said chief executive officer of Trekking Agencies’ Association of Nepal Ganga Sagar Pant.

According to him, trekking and mountaineering are the two major adventure tourism products of the country, which have been attracting a quality number of tourists from all over the world. Pant said that travellers who are around 16 years to mid-40’s are the major adventure tourism admirers. “As adventure tourism needs high stamina and energy, there are more youths attracted to it and Nepal is a priority destination,” he said.

Adventure tourism now is not just trekking and mountaineering as tourists within the age group of 16-30 years are also being attracted to other adventure tourism products.

According to general manager Bhuwan Sharma, The Last Resort receives a quality number of youngsters who want to experience bungee jumping though the age varies from 20 to 45 years.

Now along with commercialisation of tourism, the country offers an abundance of outdoor activities — paragliding near the mountains to jungle safari in the dense forests of Chitwan.

According to MoCTCA statistics, in 2012, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, US, Australia, Japan, Russia, India, Canada and China were the top 10 countries from where Nepal received

a maximum number of tourists for trekking and mountaineering.

source: The Himalayan Times, 31 Aug 2013

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