Injuries and deaths may be rare in shore excursion tours, but they definitely happen, creating negative publicity and placing the company at the center of a media blitz. While there’s no accounting for accidents, there are several ways to make your tour safe and keep your guests as safe as possible.
Having the Proper Insurance Reduces Risk
Tour operator insurance, also known as excursion insurance, covers damages done to any vehicles or watercrafts used in your business. Filing claims to repair or replace damaged machines drastically lowers risks of accidents or malfunctions caused by faulty machinery.
Excursion insurance is also responsible for covering damages done to guests or their property, preventing your business from going into bankruptcy because of one accident. This type of insurance is considered so crucial for the industry that many cruise lines refuse to advertise any tours that are uninsured.
Comply with Local Regulations and Health and Safety Standards
Cruise lines demand proof of insurance because they need to know that you understand how to take care of their tourists and guests. Part of that means complying with local regulations as well as international ones, which can vary dramatically depending on where your guests come from.
Large cruise lines with a high volume of guests may demand regular safety checks to demonstrate that you comply with their standards. The increased number of guests means there’s more chance of something going wrong, whether a boat capsizes or a van crashes, the safety checks are designed to catch any problems beforehand.
Smaller cruise lines might be more relaxed, but if you offer a more specialized or dangerous excursion such as rock-climbing, be prepared to demonstrate your adherence to safety standards often.
Practice Basic Food Hygiene
While this step doesn’t apply to every business, any shore excursion that involves feeding tourists or asking them to prepare their own food must also demonstrate how to properly clean their utensils and cooking implements to avoid food poisoning and illness. Remember that these guests are arriving from all over the world and may become ill very easily, so the group handler or tour operator must be very strict on making sure that everything is washed with boiled water. Tourists that fall ill after shore excursions are likely to blame the experience, so minimize risk and avoid exposing guests to any risky bacteria or pathogens.
Following safety regulations and practicing basic hygiene is not just about minimizing liability or protecting the business, but also providing the best possible experience for your guests who arrive with high expectations and expect both safety and comfort. Providing them with an exciting, fun, and safe time results in them returning to their cruises happy and energetic, ready to spread the word and attracting more guests in the long run.