Laws for Adventure Tourism

The government said that there will be new safety laws for adventure tourism.

Nearly two years ago, a British tourist, Emily Jordan, aged 21, died when she was river-boarding in Queenstown. She was trapped under a rock and drowned. The company which operated this river-boarding had no training, no rescue plan and no rescue equipment. The company was fined $66,000 and had to pay $80,000 to the family. Emily Jordan’s father wrote to the Prime Minister to say that adventure tourism operators in New Zealand needed to have training, safety checks and a licence.

There are about 1500 adventure tourism operators in New Zealand, many of them in Queenstown. About 850,000 foreign visitors each year enjoy activities like bungy jumping, rafting, jet boating, quad-biking, tandem sky diving and tandem parapenting, and the number of new activities is increasing. People enjoy the thrill of doing something a little bit risky but they also need to know that these activities are as safe as possible.

A report this week says that adventure tourism operators will need to be registered. There will also be safety checks and operators will need to have rescue plans. However, the report does not say that all operators need qualifications because there are no qualifications for some activities like quad-biking.

In recent years there have been a number of deaths from outdoor adventures. Listen to April 17th 2008 to hear about our worst adventure tourism tragedy which killed six young people.

1. Why do people do things like sky diving?
2. One well-known doctor in Dunedin said he has done bungy jumping several times. He said it gave him courage for his life. Do you think bungy jumping gives people courage to do other things?
3. There is always a risk in outdoor activities like skiing, surfing or hang gliding. How can people who do these things keep themselves safe?

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