Queenstown adventure tourism operators on top of safety

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A Queenstown adventure tourism operator wants thrill-seekers to know the majority of ventures in town already have established safety practises. 

Bungy giant AJ Hackett boss Michelle Trapski says despite local businesses having long-established safety practises and standards, visitors were “jittery” about adventure activities. 

Trapski voiced her concerns at an adventure tourism forum held at Queenstown Memorial Hall tonight (Wednesday) to discuss outcomes of the Adventure Tourism Review . 

About 60 people in the adventure and outdoor activity industry attended the meeting. 

Tourism Industry Association New Zealand advocacy manager Geoff Ensor discussed review recommendations, which include registration of adventure tourism operators, an industry-led entity being established, codes of practise and mandatory safety audits by recognised bodies such as OutdoorsMark. 

Ensor predicted it would take about three years for the proposed changes to be up and running. 

But Trapski said the estimated three year time line between putting the proposed steps in place to operators getting the official all clear was too long, since they already ran safely. 

Destination Queenstown boss Mark Quickfall says since about 98 per cent of local operators already had high safety standards in place, that message needed to be spread. 

“I think the majority, if not all of the operators in Queenstown are already meeting the criteria that has been proposed [by the review]. We should check that and then provide that comfort that if you are going to be taking an activity in Queenstown, then we are already ticking the boxes,” Quickfall said. 

He proposed putting that information on the DQ website to reassure visitors activities in the area have adequate safety standards. 

It’s the second year the forum – set up by DQ and TIA – has been held to inform local operators what’s happening in the industry and share tips on how to ensure businesses operate safely. 

Operators were also advised how to deal with an accident situation should a media onslaught occur.