Ed: Feb/March 2012

The hot air balloon accident near Carterton recently was a tragic event and our hearts go out to all the families, friends and loved ones who lost someone dear to them. The incident made headlines around the world, putting New Zealand under the spotlight, for all the wrong reasons, unfortunately.

Whilst tragic, NZ’s safety record in adventure tourism is pretty damn good…one of the best in the world actually. When you take into account the sheer number of adventure activities on offer that are designed to get your adrenalin pumping, the number of incidents are very small indeed.

When all outdoor recreational activities are taken into account, it’s often shown that mountain biking, road cycling, skiing, horse riding and surfing have a higher number of medical claims than those activities “perceived” as dangerous. I recently read a university
paper that maintained it was only when all outdoor recreation activities were added together that they compared in magnitude to the likes of rugby or even road accidents.

Safety is paramount within the New Zealand tourism and adventure industries. Fortunes are staked on a good reputation and a “clean bill of health” – close to 40% of all international visitors partake in at least one adventure activity during their time in New Zealand and that adds up to major tourism dollars.

Adventure tourists expect to experience a certain level of risk and excitement and to be “tested”. These types of activity will inherently carry risks and we all know it. When it comes to safety, I believe we stack up!

I’ve often said that you’re more likely to get run over by a bus than to come to any harm participating in adventure tourism. So go on, take the leap, hop on that boat, board that helicopter… do it safe in the knowledge that no tourism operator would ever risk your life or their income! I recently took a veritable leap of faith when I tried zip lining for the first time…I’m so glad I did; whilst petrified to begin with, it was an exhilarating experience that I’m very definitely keen to repeat!

Safe travels.

“When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money”. – Unknown

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