These are the elements that go beyond the specific adventure. We often forget about these in the excitement of building a new adventure but keeping them in mind is what helps ensure that our adventures can be offered in a sustainable manner.
In this section we’ll take a look at the constraints we must think of in order for an adventure to be sustainable.
The simplest way to look at them is by asking ourselves a few simple questions:
Viable: Does it solve a problem for our guests and can it generate a profit or produce the outcomes required to sustain funding?
Desirable: Does it have a positive impact, or can we minimize negative consequences, on the local community and environment?
Feasible: Do we have the certifications, permits, insurance and resources needed to deliver the adventure?
Go through the tabs below to find out more about each of the constraints that need to align to create a sustainable adventure.
It’s hard to justify offering a tour that loses money. Demand for the tour, pricing and expenses are all considered when planning a new product.
Guides can help in this area by ensuring that costs are kept under control, for example by minimizing damage to equipment. Another important role of the guide is generating repeat demand by facilitating outstanding experiences.
A desirable adventure is one that meets the needs of the guests while having a positive impact, or at least minimizing negative consequences, on the local community and environment.
It also means following our guiding principle that caring for the environment and each other is not a trend, it’s part of living. We use an approach of normalizing actions like reducing idle time on vehicles, using reusable or compostable containers, and following Leave no Trace principles. Our guests notice those things without us having to tell them.
Finally, it means having a positive impact in our community by supporting like-minded organizations, encouraging our guests to further explore the region, making adventures inclusive and accessible while also being mindful of others who are enjoying the places we visit.
We also embrace the fact that anything we do in this regard will be imperfect. The goal is to do the best we can, given our resources and the reality we live in.
In many ways, these are the elements that impact how we approach safety at the company-wide level. These are the legislations, regulations and other requirements that impact how we operate, and as a result how guides facilitate adventures.
We won’t go into the details of permits, regulations, insurance and staffing here since they tend to vary across the types of adventures we offer. The ones guides are likely to encounter include:
- OH&S legislation in general but also specifically for swiftwater, ice safety, fall prevention, personal protective equipment, risk management plans, first aid kits and emergency action plans;
- employment standards cover guides working hours and conditions;
- insurance policies restrict which activities are covered;
- Alberta Gaming Liquor Cannabis (AGLC) regulations apply to any tours that involve alcoholic beverages and Alberta Health Services regulations apply to any tours that involve food;
- industry standards set the standard of care;
- Transport Canada regulations apply to passenger vehicles in certain circumstances and to all paddling activities;
- Alberta Environment & Parks requires permits for guiding activities in protected areas and public land use zones; and
- Alberta Transportation regulations in regards to the transportation of passengers.
What does it mean in practice for adventure guides? Unlike the building blocks that are facilitated by the guides, most of these are handled at the company level. At the same time, these impact how we facilitate adventures and which tours we can offer.