Adventure Tourism Guidelines Updated

Adventure Tourism Guidelines UpdatedAdventure Tourism Guidelines Updated

Younger generations have always been infatuated with extreme activities and may go to great lengths to satisfy their urge for excitement. Extreme sports enthusiasts typically travel around the world to participate in different activities and face the unexpected; in other words, they go on an adventure tour.

Blessed with myriads of natural formations, such as mountains and rivers, Iran provides adventure seekers with a host of extreme activities. In line with Iran’s tourism goals, however, the guidelines for extreme sports needed to be updated to comply with international standards, and that is exactly what happened.

Speaking to Mehr News Agency, director general of Iran’s National Ecotourism Committee, Mohammad Ali Fayyazi, said the guidelines aim to ensure safety and promote responsible tourism.

“Iran has long been a destination for extreme sports enthusiasts, but due to low standards of facilities and disregard for safety regulations, a number of regrettable incidents occurred in the past,” he said.

Fayyazi said due to the nature of extreme sports, it is only natural for the new safety guidelines to be strict.

  Popular Activities First

Asked why some activities were given updated guidelines, Fayyazi said the popularity of an activity was taken into account.

“Popular sports and activities practiced in most provinces were high on the agenda. Guidelines for other activities will be updated later.”

He said work on updating the guidelines began two years ago and efforts were made to ensure complete compliance with international regulations.

Fayyazi noted that last year, guidelines for training tour guides were updated. He said tour guides must be skillful, be able to assess risk and manage crises, among others.

Providing detailed information about every activity is of utmost importance, he said, therefore a workshop was organized last year to educate adventure tour operators on how to outline the risks associated with each activity. Seven hundred people participated in the workshop, all of whom were given a certificate at the end.

Asked if the committee guarantees compliance with the new regulations, Fayyazi said, “The committee is only a policymaker. Ensuring compliance with the guidelines is up to provincial authorities.”

A plethora of activities such as rafting, scuba diving, parachuting, paragliding, snowboarding and rock climbing are widely practiced in Iran. Standardizing safety guidelines and regulations will no doubt help draw tourists and boost Iran’s goal of attracting 20 million visitors a year by 2020.