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TIANZ highlights improved safety in New Zealand adventure tourism
Significant advances have been made to improve safety in adventure tourism since the tragic plane crash at Fox Glacier, according to the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIANZ).
Speaking following the release of the Coroner's report into the death of nine people in the 2010 Fox Glacier sky dive plane crash, TIANZ Chief Executive Martin Snedden explained "we sympathise with those who lost loved ones, but it's important to highlight that lessons were learned and changes have been made since the September 2010 crash to improve safety right across the adventure and outdoor sector."
TIANZ has worked closely with the New Zealand Government on the 2009/10 Adventure Tourism Review and subsequent regulation changes.
As Snedden adds "awareness of safety in the sector has never been higher. It's critical that 'adventure' remains in adventure tourism, but we all have a responsibility to ensure that these experiences are being delivered within a strong safety framework."
Changes to adventure aviation since the Fox Glacier tragedy include the introduction of a world first Adventure Aviation Rule which includes a range of requirements operators must meet. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has also introduced strict requirements for pilots and operators to focus on pre-flight weight and balance calculations.
In the wider adventure tourism sector, regulations have been introduced that make it a legal requirement for a range of adventure operators to be registered with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and undergo regular external safety audits from November 2014.
TIANZ, supported by Outdoors New Zealand, has developed a website for adventure and outdoor operators which is designed to be a one-stop-shop for help on safety matters. Launched in May 2012, the Support Adventure website was one of the recommendations from the Adventure Tourism Review and provides a comprehensive collection of safety information for operators.
TIANZ is also developing a library of Activity Safety Guidelines (ASGs) for specific adventure activities. The first three - covering canyoning, caving and indoor rock-climbing - were launched last month.
The ASGs are the first nationally consistent approaches to managing safety in these sectors, drawing on the knowledge of recognised private sector experts in each activity, as well as reflecting international standards. ASGs for a range of other activities including heli-skiing, quad-biking, high wire crossing and abseiling, are under development.
The developments taking place in the adventure and outdoor tourism sector will come under the spotlight on Friday 10th May, when TIANZ hosts The Great Adventure at Rydges Wellington. This one-day conference will give adventure and outdoor tourism operators an opportunity to meet as a sector to share their experiences, and contribute to building a strong, unified and prosperous sector.
Snedden comcludes "the adventure sector has fronted up to the need for safety improvements and there is wide-ranging support from operators for the changes that are being made. There are limits to what government regulation can achieve ultimately it is up to operators to take responsibility to do all they can to prevent accidents.
"The safety work we are doing in New Zealand is being noted internationally and I'm confident it will keep our adventure sector on the leading edge."
For more details about the event, go to www.tianz.org.nz/main/The_Great_Adventure
Image: The Kepler Track in the South Island's Fjordland National Park.
7th May 2013 - MORE ROBUST CULTURE NEEDED FOR NEW ZEALAND ADVENTURE TOURISM
27th March 2013 - CONFERENCE EMBARKS ON THE GREAT ADVENTURE
7th January 2012 - 11 KILLED IN NORTH ISLAND HOT-AIR BALLOON CRASH
6th September 2011 - TIANZ APPOINTS ADVENTURE TOURISM SAFETY SPECIALIST
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