Coconut trees possess great potential as a platform for adventure sports in Goa, a state known primarily for beach tourism, a top adventure sports professional said.
Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI) President Tejbir Singh Anand said that thousands of single-stemmed coconut palms, standing like sentinels on a hangover along Goa's rivers and beaches, had a lot of potential for a completely new brand of adventure tourism.
"Adventure sports operators in Europe, Australia and US have used trees to come up with great adventure sports avenues and obstacle courses. Goa's coconut trees have a similar potential. As an adventure sports operator, they could be the next big adventure tourism jackpot," Anand told IANS.
Anand was in Goa to attend the three-day Goa International Travel Mart (GITM), which concluded here Sunday, and promote his 'coconutty' adventure sport concept.
"All that needs to be done is use ropes innovatively to work out adventure course modules and obstacle courses right from three year olds to adults in varying heights without using a single nail," Anand said.
He said that while a lot of governments and green groups were hesitant when it came to using forests as zones for adventure sports, coconut trees -- which is a horticulture crop -- would be a viable, eco-friendly and a tough alternative.
He said green groups' reservation usually stem from disturbing wildlife to potentially damaging forest cover with excessive tourist presence.
"There is some resistance to using forests for adventure sports, but coconut palms provide a viable alternative. And the palms can resist coastal winds, they are as tough as any forest timber trees. An in Goa, you have them in plenty," Anand said.