adventure tourism

Adventure tourism: Balancing the thrills and the risks

Picture the scene. You are a thrill-seeking teenager bursting with excitement about an upcoming adventure trip. You are excited about discovering new horizons, and making memories that will last a lifetime. But hold on tight because you’ll also need to be aware of the risks involved in adventure tourism.

Adventure tourism promises thrilling and unforgettable experiences. But, before you finalize your plans, it’s crucial to step back, evaluate the potential hazards involved and make informed decisions.

Take trekking as an example. Did you know that more than 150 Himalayan trekkers lost their lives in the last 5 years? (Source: Times Of India). Imagine what would happen if you were zip-lining and the rope gave way? Youtube is full of such horror stories. Although these might look like outlier incidents, there is still a non-zero possibility of them happening.

Why is this the case especially in India as opposed to Western countries? There are many causes for India’s poor reputation in adventure tourism.

  • Poor and faulty equipment, not inspected regularly
  • Improper planning and scheduling by tour agencies and tourists left to fend for themselves in unfamiliar situations
  • Untrained or non-certified tour guides
  • Lack of physical fitness of the tourists undertaking adventurous expeditions outside their comfort zone

Recently in May ’23, there was a shocking accident in Kerala. An inland cruise ship capsized, killing 22 local tourists. This happened despite a warning by the officials that required the cruise operation to be terminated. This incident is one of many such mishaps.

The only way such accidents can be prevented is by knowing the risks and being prepared for contingencies. Never trust unauthorized adventure firms that appear even the slightest bit untrustworthy.

Ask yourself the following questions.

“Is the equipment fit for use?

Is the trip well planned and is the tour agency trustworthy?

How experienced and trained are the guides?

Am I healthy and fit for the trip I am planning?”

Heading on an adventurous trip with your family is an incredible experience that can make any teenager’s heart race with excitement.  However, before we dive headfirst into the thrill, it’s essential to have the right planning conversations with our families. Don’t let the excitement of adventure tourism cloud your judgment. Pause, assess the risks, and make informed decisions to ensure a safe and memorable experience.

Featured image: Photo by Digjot Singh on Unsplash

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