Arijit Dutta is the managing director of Priya Entertainment Private Limited apart from the Bioscope brand of multiplexes. He has been a pioneer in bringing Eco Adventure Resorts in Bengal with the Khairabera Eco Adventure Resorts in Purulia and the latest is the tie-up with Sikkim Government for setting up the Temi Tea Eco Adventure Resorts in Sikkim. Excerpts…
Q. How do you see the future of Travel and Tourism Career wise?
The travel and tourism industry, along with the related sectors contributing to it, is expected to grow in leaps and bounds in the coming years. A job in this industry can be highly exciting and adventurous and even pays well. In India, the travel industry hopes to create huge job opportunities by 2025.
Though it was slow to take off in this country, the government’s initiatives in this field are uncovering a bright future for those who want to make a career in this field. The country is a geographical anomaly, having almost all the geographical features available. According to a report published by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), India could possibly add another Rs. 8, 50,000 crores by the year 2020-just through tourism.
Q. Since you are a pioneer in Bengal and one of the leaders in eco-adventure tourism in India, tell us about adventure tourism.
We all like a bit of adventure in our lives, don’t we? That’s why lots of people are no longer content with holidays just chilling on the beach and watching the clouds float by. That would be far too simple and civilised. We want action. We want paragliding, skiing, mountaineering and abseiling: the whole lot!
We need someone to keep us in line, someone to show us the ropes. We can’t just go abroad and start throwing ourselves out of planes and off cliffs. That would be mental. That’s where adventure tourism comes into play.
Q. What are the basic requirements to be involved in adventure tourism?
A career in adventure tourism has got to be one of the most exhilarating paths you can take. You’ve got to be adventurous, confident, passionate, and perhaps a little bit nuts too. Furthermore, you will be keen to impart your wisdom and experience on others, so that they too can enjoy the thrill ride of adventure sports.
You could be teaching rock climbing in Australia, surfing in Malibu, or kayaking in Wales. The possibilities are endless. Some of the most sought-after positions include: tour guide, outdoor education officer and outdoor activity coordinator. You might be working in outdoor pursuit centres, holiday resorts, national parks or specialist adventure sport centres.
Regardless of the role you take on, it’s essential to obtain specialist health and safety training before making a foray into the industry. As far as skills and attributes are concerned, it’s imperative to be an absolute expert in your field.
You really need to know everything, from inside out. If you’re leading a rock-climbing course, you need to be utterly in control of your own movements, so you can keep check on everyone else. Adventure tourism careers are quite competitive, so it’s important to try and keep ahead of your competitors.
Get plenty of experience and volunteer where necessary. This sector definitely stems from your own interests in adventure sports. Surfing, snowboarding, mountaineering- anything goes, as long as you’re passionate about it!
Tour guides are responsible for guiding tourists around certain landmarks or attractions. To be in the field of Adventure tourism you must be adventurous, confident and passionate. Not only do you have to be confident in your own ability, you need to have the expert ability to deal with emergency situations. As this tourism sector involves dangerous activities you are all the more responsible for the safety of the tourists. Other attributes include physical fitness, coordination skills, critical thinking skills, good communication skills, planning and organisational skills. An ability to get along and work well with others is also necessary.
They must also have expert knowledge of safety and emergency procedures. Proficiency in at least one foreign language is necessary as the candidate might have to deal with tourists from across the world.
What are the career prospects and remunerations expected in Adventure Tourism: More adventurous tourists get the more possibility of exploring new destinations and recreation arises, there is a growing need for qualified adventure instructors. Adventure Tourism offers opportunities as an adventure tour operator, tour guide, safari guide, travel and information consultant, diver, adventure sports trainer, adventure photographer, wildlife photographer and many more. Employment opportunities arise with tour companies, eco-adventure resorts, holiday resorts, leisure camps, excursion agencies, commercial recreation centres and sports centres.
Remuneration: Jobs in this sector does not have specific salary structure. Salary differs depending on the opportunity, location, job responsibilities and whether the position is full time or seasonal. In majority cases, adventure tourism jobs are seasonal. So, it not possible to expect a fixed income throughout the year. But to begin with, one can expect a salary that ranges from Rs 7,000 – 12,000 per month.
Q. Are there any institutions where one can go to study Adventure Tourism?
Yes, India now has quite a few institutions like National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Hyderabad, Anna University, Chennai, Mount Carmel College, Bangalore, Indian Hotel Academy, New Delhi where you can get a diploma or a certificate to help shape up your career. Though, I still feel ultimately your guts and passion which takes you to this profession.
The writer is co-founder, Connections PR.