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New website includes key safety tips for adventure tourism operators

New website includes key safety tips for adventure tourism operators
December 3, 2011

A new website offers adventure tourism and commercial outdoor operators a "one stop shop" for information and advice on running a safe operation.

The 'Support Adventure' website has been developed as a result of the government-led Adventure Tourism Review by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ) with support from Outdoors New Zealand and funding from the Department of Labour (DOL).

TIANZ Advocacy Manager Geoff Ensor says "the review found that adventure and outdoor operators would value one central, credible source of safety information. While plenty of information exists on how to keep staff and clients safe, it was widely spread and often difficult to find."

Content on the website is based on extensive consultation with the adventure and outdoor sector, including 19 operator workshops attended by more than 300 operators, as well as discussions with a range of individual businesses and organisations. It includes detailed information on how to develop a safety management plan, legislation relevant to the adventure and outdoor sector, and links to other useful websites.

Ensor adds "there are tips and advice on the website that every operator will find valuable, whether they are just starting out or have years of experience. While it will help operators who have to be registered under the new adventure activities regulations to meet DOL requirements, it will also be really useful to volunteer organisations, clubs, schools and tertiary institutions.

"Client expectations of safety are higher than ever while the tolerance for mistakes is very low. This means that even those operators who will not have to be registered and audited under the new adventure activities regulations should still be aiming to adopt the industry-accepted safety standards set out on this website."

TIANZ is encouraging operators to use the new website over the summer and give feedback on aspects they think should be improved or altered.

Ensor concludes "it's critical that 'adventure' remains in adventure tourism, but let's also be confident that unique, personalised experiences are being delivered within a strong safety framework that meets our 'duty of care' responsibilities."

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