Nepal’s participation at Adventure Sports Asia Expo (ASEA) 2018 concluded successfully in at Hotel Four Points Sheraton in Delhi on Monday, Jan. 29. The 3-day Expo that started on Jan. 27 provided an ideal platform for promotion of Nepal as the ultimate adventure destination, in getting in touch with the adventure tour buyers and sellers in the region, and in providing latest updates in the adventure tourism segment of Nepal.
Seven companies from the private sector tourism industry of Nepal, Nepal Tourism Board, Nepal Airlines, and PATA Nepal Chapter represented Nepal at the Expo. Private companies at the Expo were: Adventure Outdoor Treks and Expeditions, Everest Summit Lodges, High Ground Adventures Nepal, Himalaya Kailash Travels and Tours Pvt. Ltd., Himalayan Holidays Trekking, Incentive Holidays, and Nepal Sanctuary Treks.
At the program, Mr. Sunil Shakya, Chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Nepal Chapter, presented Nepal as the ultimate adventure destination. Mr. Shakya highlighted Nepal through fresh visuals of adventure sport activities like trekking, mountaineering, rafting, kayaking, paragliding, ultralight flying, sky diving, bungee jumping, mountain biking, ziplining, jungle activities etc. available in Nepal, to the hall full of adventure lovers. Supplementing Mr. Shakya’s presentation with Nepal’s sustainable tourism efforts, river conservationist and Founding President of Nepal River Conservation Trust (NRCT) Mr. Megh Ale made a presentation on the river conservation initiatives in Nepal.
Nepal’s special place in the world of adventure, its responsibility toward sustainable tourism, and its unparalleled products stole the 3-day show, with most adventure enthusiasts from different parts of the world mentioning “Mt. Everest”, “Himalayas”, and “Nepal”, with adulation and love. Nepal was also put back in spotlight during the awards function among dignitaries and “who’s who” of the adventure sports tourism when Chief Executive Officer of Nepal Tourism Board – Mr. Deepak Raj Joshi, Chairman of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA-Nepal Chapter) – Mr. Sunil Shakya, Joint Secretary of PATA Nepal Chapter – Mr. Bibhu Thakur, and Founding President of Nepal River Conservation Trust – Mr. Megh Ale, were awarded for their dedication and commitment to quality and responsible tourism.
Various talk sessions were conducted during the first two days with famous adventure personalities regaling participants with inspirational personal stories and anecdotes on the importance of adventure, why adventure tourism is here to stay and how responsible tourism is quintessential for a sustainable future of tourism as well as mankind. Among famous personalities present at the expo were Indian cricketer Mr. Kapil Dev, President of Adventure Travel and Tourism Association Mr. Shannon Stowell who flew in from the United States to be present at the show, Indian adventure tourism pioneer Mr. Ajeet Bajaj to name a few.
The Expo was the first of its kind with an aim to bring together all the stake holders of the Adventure and Ecotourism industry. The Expo was conducted with the aim to catalyze the growth of adventure sports and responsible tourism by bringing together world-class gear and equipment makers, expert trainers, best practices and technology advancement. The Expo provided platform for adventure-related B2B, B2C and B2G gathering from across the world, with exclusive media coverage.
The expo was endorsed by Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India and supported by other prominent international bodies such as ATTA (Adventurer Travel Trade Association) and national bodies such as ESOI (Ecotourism Society of India), OTOAI (Outbound Tour Operators Association of India), IATO (The Indian Association of Tour Operators) and ADTOI (Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India), and ATOAI (Adventure Tour Operator Association).
Participation at the Expo provided the opportunity to leverage adventure sports opportunities in Nepal and position Nepal widely as a world class adventure destination. It also provided opportunities to meet distributors, institutional buyers, tour and camp operators, training and certification institutes and tap into the affluent population, adventure and thrill seekers, enthusiastic youth. Similarly, it gave an opportunity to participants to be updated about the latest equipment and gears as well as news and updates in the world of adventure sports in the region.
Nepal is a coveted destination for adventure lovers from across the world. USA, UK, Germany, France, Poland, Australia, and New Zealand, are some of the top value markets for adventure segment for Nepal. With the rising trend of International Tourist Arrival in Nepal, which has crossed the 1 million mark in 2017 from around 750 thousand in 2016, the adventure segment is also growing. According to experts, now is the right time to focus on different segments and particularly the adventure segment with focus on responsible and sustainable tourism.