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New Zealand must protect its global adventure tourism reputation
New Zealand must protect its reputation as having some of the best adventure tourism attractions in the world, according to Labour Minister Simon Bridges.
Speaking at the recent Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ) 2014 Great Adventure conference in Wellington, Minister Bridges highlighted the significance of the Adventure Activities Regulations, set to be enforced from 1st November this year, stating “we are on will see New Zealand take the international lead in the adventure tourism and outdoors sector (with) regulations (that) are about safety, protecting people as well as protecting our reputation, and protecting your livelihoods.”
"There is no place for cowboys in this sector … they’re out (and) there’s no place for ‘I’ve always done it this way and I’ve never had an accident, so I don’t need to change’.
“The only way forward for New Zealand’s adventure activities sector is a sustainable, consistent, auditable, enforceable regulatory system in which everybody is doing things the right way every time, and they’ve got the documented systems to prove it.”
Minister Bridges went on to highlight the importance of adventure tourism in New Zealand’s $9.8 billion tourism industry that accounts for 16.1% of New Zealand’s export revenue and 5.7% of its workforce.
However, he stressed “with every accident, every death, we erode our reputation, we erode confidence in our products, and we erode our own futures.
“That is why we will achieve the professionalisation of adventure activities.”
Commenting on the registrations and audits that all adventure tourism operators are required to complete by November, the Minister continued “to date about 70 operators have or are very close to achieving registration (and) around 350 operators have yet to pass a safety audit and become registered.”
Acknowledging that that the process had been slowed by a lack of audit providers, he stressed that operators meeting the 1st November deadline was “non-negotiable”, he added “after 1 November, it will be illegal to operate an adventure or outdoor activity that is subject to the regulations unless an operation has passed a safety audit and achieved registration.
“That will be enforced. WorkSafe New Zealand has rejuvenated its Health and Safety inspectorate and is growing its capacity.
“Operators found to be flouting the regulations will face compliance and enforcement action.”
Minister Bridges also acknowledging TIANZ’s role in the process, praising the “significant role” of the Association in raising awareness of the new regime among operators, both from the adventure tourism and the outdoors sectors; and from within and without its own membership.
For more information on the new Adventure Activities Regulations go to the Support Adventure website at www.supportadventure.co.nz
Main image shows Minister Simon Bridges (in the white helmet) taking a tandem sky dive.
10th March 2014 - JOINING WITH TIANZ’S GREAT ADVENTURE
4th November 2012 - ATTA AND UNWTO TO ADVANCE RESPONSIBLE ADVENTURE TRAVEL
19th October 2011 - SAFETY VITAL FOR NEW ZEALAND ADVENTURE TOURISM OPERATORS
6th September 2011 - TIANZ APPOINTS ADVENTURE TOURISM SAFETY SPECIALIST
13th July 2010 - LESSONS MUST BE LEARNED FROM CANYONING DEATHS
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