Following the unfortunate accident where a stuntman died while performing at the inaugural event of the Adventure Mall in Greater Noida, the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India organized a workshop in the capital to instruct adventure tour operators regarding safety guidelines for adventure tourism.
Shailendra Singh Bisht, the stuntman, fell to his death when he lost his grip on the rope while rappelling down the glass-walled mall. Bisht sustained multiple injuries and died on the spot. At the same event, actress Sayali Bhagat suffered injuries while performing a stunt involving a remote-controlled jeep.
While the investigation committee has failed to throw light on the real cause of the incident, Mr. Tejbir Singh Anand, president ATOAI, gave his comments.
"Obviously the first thing that comes to our minds is that if an accident occurs related to our subject then someone should be there to explain what happened and how things went wrong. But we hear comments like there should be a safety net, which is bizarre, because you don't need a safety net while rappelling."
"Also, I would say that the company was not licensed under the ministry of tourism so their credibility was questionable. Even the inspection committee did not approach us."
Such unprecedented accidents by 'experts' raised debates about the credibility and safety of adventure sports in India. Mr. Ajeet Bajaj, Chairman, 4 Pillar workshop, stressed on the importance of endorsing safety guidelines for adventure tour operators. The workshop also asked consumers to approach only credible tour operators before going in for any adventure sports.
The 4 Pillars: Guidelines for Adventure tour operators
To facilitate the delivery of responsible & sustainable adventure travel experience, it is all the more relevant and important that members of the Association should follow a "Code of Ethics" to conduct their business. It is the duty of the concerned agency to guide the traveller with honesty and integrity.
Adventure activities involve risks that should be managed by the operators. This is achieved through careful supervision, training, instruction & information. On the basis of a risk assessment, operators should take reasonably practicable measures to ensure the safety of participants, including safety devices and protocols designed to limit risks. However, it should be understood that such risks cannot be eliminated altogether.
Standards of Operating
SOPs are often called the 'bible' for your daily preparation and as such bring consistency to the actions of the team. Setting a "Standard of Operating" procedure will help take adventure travel in India to safer and greater heights!
Sustainable tourism is about refocussing and adapting. A balance must be found between limits and usage so that continuous changing, monitoring and planning can be ensured.
Mr. Anand Kumar, Joint Secretary (Tourism) couldn't make it to the event but addressed the audience through a tele-con. He welcomed the ATOAI's move of coming up with a useful and instructive workshop and offered to extend full support to promote and regulate the safety guidelines.