Adventure tourism operators guide and supervise tourists on exciting outdoor activities, up mountains, down rapids, and on biking trips through forests. They help make dreams come true for many people. Activities may include rafting, canoeing, diving, fishing, climbing, hiking, bungee jumping, sailing etc, and take place in a variety of outdoor locations.
They also teach the skills necessary for these activities.
The function of adventure tourism operators is similar to that of regular tour guides, or ecotour guides. However, instead of showing people historically significant locations or guiding people on environmentally friendly camping trips, adventure tourism operators guide and supervise tourists on exciting, heart-thumping activites and tours.
State and provincial governments and municipalities generally support adventure tourism. As well as providing a new source of economic growth in these areas, adventure tour leaders are often key players in preserving natural resources, as well as promoting conservation. Often, adventure tours generate money for developing parks, environmental services, and for natural resource management. They sometimes even clean up the mess made by other people (some adventure tourism operators lead trips up Mount Everest with the object of removing empty oxygen canisters left on the mountain by climbers).
Adventure tourism operators are responsible for the safety of all of their clients during these activities. They make use of and maintain recreational equipment such as rafts and ropes.
Adventure tours are only some of the many tours offered by tour groups and travel agencies. But tourists who participate in trips with adventure tour guides are challenged in ways that tours to museums etc cannot provide.
- interacting with people from all walks of life
- having fun and being paid for it
- challenging activities
- opportunities to travel
- opportunity for self-employment
- working long and irregular hours
- physically demanding work
- working with difficult and demanding customers
- potentially dangerous if the necessary safety
- precautions are not taken
- great responsibility for ensuring everyone’s safety
- have excellent communication skills
- passion for ecology, wildlife and nature
- work very well with different types of people
- capable of being original, creative and innovative
- planning and organisational skills
- patient and practical
- enthusiastic and energetic
- physically fit and strong
- able to remain calm in emergencies
- safety-conscious, responsible, trustworthy and reliable
National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Each institution will have its own minimum entry requirements.
Compulsory Subjects: Mathematics
Recommended Subjects: Tourism, Information Technology, Accounting or Business Science, Geography
There is no prescribed path for those who want to become adventure tour leaders. However, there are some recommended guidelines. It is a good idea to complete a university degree in geography, environmental science or environmental studies, or obtain a diploma in travel and tourism.
Degree: Tourism offered by NMMU, Monash, UNISA, UJ, UZ
Diploma: DUT - Ecotourism Management
Tourism - FET Colleges
Tourism also offered by Intec, Hartwell, Damelin, Varsity College and other private institutions.
- tourism companies
- activity operators
- team-building activities
- tourist / game lodges
- holiday resorts
- amusement parks
Tourism Business Council (TBCSA)
P O Box 11655
245 End Avenue
Tel: (012) 654-7525 Fax: (012) 654-7394