Adventure Holiday in New Zealand

New Zealand has earned its fame as a travel destination providing some of the greatest and most accessible opportunities for adventure tourism. But there is risk with adventure travel. Being aware of the risk as well as the way to manage it is the secret of running a top-notch adventure tour service.

Travelers are more sophisticated than ever, seeking a more genuine experience and engagement in their trip than they used to in the past. These regulations require tour operators to meet these standards and thoroughly oversee them. When it comes to adventure tourism, both authenticity and active involvement lend a degree of risk to those who provide this tourist opportunity.

Completely eliminating all risk is neither possible nor even desirable. It is the nature of this type of tourism to furnish travelers with an undertaking beyond the scope of their day to day routine, to test their limits. When you do away with any risk involved in an activity, you destroy its authenticity and with it the deeper experience the tourist desires. When you know and accept that there is risk involved, then you realize how important it is to comprehend risk.

The fact that the public often has an inaccurate perception of risk, is one major issue associated with risk in general. An example of this is the media circus around the coverage of swine flu. Influenza A (H1N1) had reached an official number of 1490 cases reported by 21 countries (including New Zealand) by May 5, 2009 at 16:00, of which 30 were fatal (data: World Health Organization). The media have been covering the spread of the disease every step of the way, as well as its possible upgrading to pandemic status. Public places such as recreational facilities have been closed, travel advisories have taken a heavy toll on the local tourism industry, and even the pork industry is feeling the pinch as people are reluctant to eat pork. Contrast these statistics with those for the scourge of malaria that has outlived its newsworthiness apparently. According to the World Health Organization, there were 247 million cases of malaria and almost 1 million deaths in 2006. Why does the press pay so much attention to something like swine flu despite its rarity compared to malaria? In this case, perception and reality obviously differ greatly. It is actually probably best they don’t coincide, since if they did few folks would be brave enough for a commute to work.

What is the relationship here with New Zealand travel? We have shown that risk is something to be desired, while how it is viewed is quite subjective. When orchestrating an adventure tour activity, how you leverage the perceived view is important. You can orchestrate experiences that possess a real element of risk, yet are viewed as far riskier than they are in reality. We call it “psychological risk”.

A crucial element of this procedure is the painstaking management of risk which retains the perception yet minimizes the risk. Health and safety regulations, together with active participation of many tourism industry associations enables tour operators to get a good handle on risk and greatly reduce the factors that can lead to risk. This has prompted the tour industry of New Zealand to develop a broad variety of activities that combine true adventure with minimal risk.

To conclude, New Zealand adventure tourism should not eliminate all risk, yet cautiously manage all major aspects of risk which visitors face, making the risks involved in adventure tourism acceptable, while people believe that the risks involved are much greater.


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