WELLINGTON, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The government on Friday told New Zealand's adventure tourism operators that a deadline to comply with new safety regulations was "non-negotiable" as it moves to clean up the industry's reputation.
Labour Minister Simon Bridges told the Tourism Industry Association in Wellington that the government was committed to professionalising the adventure activities sector and lifting safety standards across the board.
"New Zealand is world renowned for its adventure tourism, and we have some of the best attractions in the world. We must protect that reputation. That's why the Nov. 1 deadline for adventure activity operators to be audited and registered is non-negotiable, " Bridges said in a published speech.
"We are providing the industry with considerable support to help it meet its obligations under the Adventure Activity Regulations," Bridges said.
In May last year, New Zealand tourism industry and government officials began stepping up efforts to assure travelers that the country's adventure activities were safe after a damning inquest into the deaths of nine people including tourists from Australia, Ireland, Germany and England during a skydiving flight crash in 2010.
The report criticized the fact that seating restraints were not used, which probably caused a load shift in the critical take-off and climb phase of the aircraft.
New Zealand has an estimated 1,500 adventure activity operators, and from Nov. 1, and under the regulations issued in March last year, it will be an offence to provide an adventure activity without being audited.