There are numerous individual motivations to do Adventure Tourism, Ecotourism or tours along nature trails, waterfalls, beaches, rivers etc. Everyone who engages in these activities have in common the idea or the sensation that the direct contact with Nature is pleasant and beneficial.
What everyone does not have in common, what is not found in all individuals or groups that go to natural environments is the awareness of the inherent risks hidden or found in Nature and in the activities that can be carried out there. Lots of people have no ecological awareness, don’t think about the need to preserve the original ecosystem; don’t think about the need to remain individually aware and attentive to local conditions and their risks, especially when in altitude or in waters, which implies both following the signs and rules when they exist, and taking care of themselves avoiding alcohol, drugs or inconsequential behavior. These risky behaviors are very common, especially on beaches, trails and waterfalls.
Naturally we find people who are aware of the risks in Nature, who seek to inform themselves and / or hire qualified professionals for their walks, but more and more often we meet people who, with frivolous attitudes, put their own lives at risk. To put oneself at risk is a result of ignorance about safety issues, as well as it is a result of the “Culture of Risk” that is very much in vogue today. The search for adrenaline, the desire to have a different experience from everyday life, the belief in the almost mythical benefits of contact with "virgin" Nature is, paradoxically, more and more publicized. Having a unique adventure to tell about it later is a subliminal message to virtually all advertising aimed at Nature Tourism. From adrenaline to selfie people pay any price for the experience.
And, finally, risks are also the result of vandalism and irresponsibility.
Safety in natural environment depends on individual visitors as well as on entrepreneurs and tourism professionals. We affirm that in places where tourists are charged, security must be demanded to the administrators or managers of the places, it is their responsibility to develop projects to avoid avoidable risks, to manage security methods and rescue when necessary, to control their property (public or private) and for planning educational activities and clarifying the conditions for safe activities on site. Tourism companies are also responsible for the performance of their professionals and for the packages they offer. Self-employed tourist guides are individually responsible for their work.
Adventure Tourism is a recent activity in Brazil, it needs more responsible government involvement, since it is one of the sectors of the Tourism Industry with greater growth in the country.
Brazil is territorially immense and with great natural and cultural diversity, admittedly one of the countries with the greatest potential for Adventure Tourism and can not remain in the amateurism that still prevails in several regions.
We share the view that, in parallel with Safety Management Projects for Adventure Tourism, specific risk-awareness campaigns in places that receive a large contingent of people should be launched and maintained.
We believe that we can develop another attitude towards the enjoyment of Nature that in no way diminishes the pleasure of experiences, on the contrary, it enhances it.
Children, youth, adults, everyone can give up the culture of risk and of the spectacle for individual and meaningful experiences for all life!
illustrations: under License CC0, except the one by Terezinha Souza