University of Hertfordshire

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By the same authors

Monitoring injury in the New Zealand adventure tourism sector: an operator survey.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-403
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Travel Medicine
Volume15
Issue6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Nov 2008

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Client safety is a major risk management concern for the commercial adventure tourism sector in New Zealand. This study built on previous exploratory analyses of New Zealand adventure tourism safety, including industry surveys conducted by these authors in 1999 and 2003. The aims of the study were to provide a continuation of injury monitoring across the sector through data collected from self-reported injury incidence by industry operators and to compare findings with those from other primary and secondary research studies conducted by the authors. METHODS: A postal questionnaire was used to survey all identifiable New Zealand adventure tourism operators during 2006. The questionnaire asked respondents about their recorded client injury experience, perceptions of client injury risk factors, and safety management practices. RESULTS: Some 21 adventure tourism activities were represented among the responding sample (n = 127), with most operations being very small in terms of staff numbers, although responding operators catered to nearly 1 million clients in total annually. Highest ranked risk factors for client injury included clients not following instructions; level of client skill, ability, and fitness; and changeable/unpredictable weather conditions. Highest client injury was reported for horse riding, ecotourism, and white water rafting sectors, although serious underreporting of minor injuries was evidenced across the sector. Slips, trips, and falls were the most frequently reported injury mechanism, while safety management measures were inconsistently applied across the sector. CONCLUSIONS: The industry should address reporting culture issues and safety management practices generally. Specifically, the industry should consider risk management that focuses on minor (eg, falls) as well as catastrophic events.

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