Editorial Comment

May Cover Story

Adventure tourism is a sector of the travel industry that our May edition cover sponsor, SATIB Insurance Brokers have specialised in for many years. Obtaining tailor-made liability risk transfer cover for adventure operators is no easy task, considering the diversity of potentially hazardous activities that are offered by such operators and undertaken by adrenalin seeking tourists.

To compound matters, inbound tourists emanating from European Union countries are protected by the European Community Directive 90/314/EEC on Package Holidays and Travel Trade Act, 1995, which places the onus of liability squarely on the shoulders of the travel organiser who sold the package to the tourist − from the time of departure to return.

The Directive includes under section 25 (insurance) that:

The package provider’s insurance agrees to indemnify consumers (who shall be insured persons under the policy), against:

  • Loss of all money paid over by them;
  • The cost of repatriation of consumers.

In the event of insolvency, the package provider must ensure that the consumer acquires the benefit of a policy of a kind mentioned above. In this section “appropriate policy” means one which does not contain a condition which provides (in whatever terms) that no liability shall arise under the policy, or that any liability so arising shall cease in the event of:

  • Some specified thing being done or omitted to be done after the happening of the event giving rise to a claim under the policy;
  • In the event of the failure of the policy holder to make payments to the insurer in connection with that policy or with other policies, or;
  • Unless the policy holder keeps specified records or provides the insurer with information therefrom.

In terms of the extent and financial limits of liability, the Directive states that:

The organiser will be liable to the consumer for the proper performance of the obligations under the contract, irrespective of whether such obligations are to be performed by the organiser, the retailer, or other suppliers of services but this shall not affect any remedy or right of action which the organiser may have against the retailer or those other suppliers of services.

In the case of damage arising from the non-performance or improper performance of services involved in the package, the contract may provide for compensation to be limited in accordance with any international conventions in force governing such services in the place where they are performed or are due to be performed, but:

  • Without prejudice to liability, which cannot be excluded by any contractual term, and;
  • that the organiser, or the retailer acting on the instructions of the organiser, will give prompt assistance to a consumer in difficulty.

Given the onerous terms of this Directive, it’s understandable that buyers insist that their ground handlers in Africa, and specifically their activity service suppliers, such as adventure operators, have appropriate liability insurance cover in place that not only complies with the terms of the Directive but also extends to cover all sub-contractors involved in the performance and delivery of the package holiday.

So important is this aspect of liability, that South Africa’s Minister of Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk has made a call for the sector to put sound regulatory measures relating to safety and operational standards in place, in order to build the credibility and profile of a reliable Adventure Tourism industry in South Africa.

To address Minister  van Schalkwyk’s desire, the National Department of Tourism (NDT) partnered with the South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA) to organise and host an inaugural workshop on self-regulation for the Adventure Tourism Sector which took place on the 19 March 2014 in Cape Town. The workshop provided a platform for information sharing, exchange of best practices and solicited input pertaining to the implementation of stakeholder consultative sessions to be organised throughout the 2014-2015 financial year.

[box type=”info” width=”630″ ]SATIB Insurance Brokers, in partnership with the ATTA and Dirty Boots Adventure Guide, will be convening ‘AdventureConnect’ evening sessions from 5:30 – 7:00 pm at WTM-Africa in the Marimba Restaurant, ICC Cape Town on 02 May and at the Indaba Travel Trade Expo on 10 May at Rivets Bar in the Hilton Durban Hotel. For more on risk related issues, read about Kidnap and Ransom insurance on page 37.[/box]

In this edition of Tourism Tattler Trade Journal magazine, we also feature Botswana as a RETOSA Transfrontier Conservation Area (pages 16 – 17), Kenya’s remote archipelago of Lamu Island, where the local people have a long established tradition of welcoming travellers (pages 18 – 23), and the 2014 Seychelles Carnaval de Victoria event (magazine only – pages 24 – 25).

Our Hospitality Review features Toad Tree Lodge in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (pages 26 – 27), while our Niche Tourism section features the potential of Space Tourism (pages 32 – 33).

Our regular features include ’13 Things that Mentally Strong Entrepreneurs Don’t Do’ (page 09), the SATSA MIR on the latest inbound travel and hotel occupancy statistics (magazine only – page 10) and the Tourism Business Index Report for the first quarter of 2014 (page 12). The Photography section covers Depth Of Field (magazine only – page 35) and the Risk section looks at Kidnap and Ransom insurance.

Enjoy your reading and stay in touch.

Yours in Tourism, Des Langkilde.

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