The relevance of this aspect of the work of eco-tour organizers lies in the decisive importance of the safety issues of modern tourism at all levels - from the safety of tourists on the route to the economic security of the regions of tourism development. In world practice, cases are widely known when neglect of natural, social, epidemiological and other dangers, the possibility of terrorism, led to casualties among tourists. Overcoming the consequences of such events took years and required significant material costs.
Back in 1983, when the first and practically the only publication on tourism safety was published in the Russian Federation, famous tourism experts of that time V. Tikhomirov and K. Bardin wrote: “The problem of ensuring travel safety is one of the most important (if not the most important!) and at the same time one of the most difficult problems of the tourist movement ”.
For example, in France and Japan, more than 100 people die annually on mountain routes alone, in the Alps this figure is 300-400 people, in the small Polish Tatras - up to 30 travel lovers. Only in Chamonix, in the Mont Blanc region, up to 60 climbers die every year. According to a number of rescue services, the number of fatal accidents increases by 13.5-17% from year to year. As a rule, all these misfortunes happen to the most active and promising members of society.
From year to year, the extreme nature of travel, especially in adventure and sports tourism, is increasing. First of all, this is facilitated by scientific and technological progress and the emergence of new types of equipment. At first glance, a paradoxical situation arises - traveling becomes easier, but the danger along the route not only does not decrease, but increases more and more. Here is how A. Boukreev, who repeatedly led people to the highest peak of the planet. “Currently, the popularity of climbing Mount Everest is growing, despite the huge prices. Commercial mountaineering is developing. People go to Everest to test themselves with difficulties and heights. Their Everest is much lighter, more accessible, and therefore lower than that of Tenzing and Hillary (first climbers to Everest. - Author's note) and is incomparable with Messner's Everest (in 1979 he ascended without using oxygen, and then alone in the season monsoons. - Author's note). But for unprepared people, he did not become less dangerous, but on the contrary. The myth about the safety of such ascents is a delusion for amateurs. It needs to be dispelled, not maintained, by advertising the availability of high altitudes using supplemental oxygen and the help of experienced guides and Sherpas.
Commercial climbing cannot be banned. But people going to Everest must understand that no guide can give one hundred percent guarantee of their safety. If such a guarantee is given, then there is a deception behind it. The oxygen myth is beneficial to businesses on Everest, but dangerous to the people going there. It must be remembered that the last word will always remain with the Mountain. "
The specificity of modern mass tourism is its vulnerability to environmental conditions. Tourism requires economic, political and social stability. This is especially true for Russia. The existing and perceived threats of terrorism, negative attitudes towards foreign and domestic tourists restrain the development of tourism in many regions of the country, especially in the North Caucasus.
Currently, very little attention is paid to the safety of ecological and adventure tourism, especially at the research level. Although such travels associated with visiting hard-to-reach corners of our country, in the harsh natural conditions of mountains, taiga, deserts, are always associated with elements of risk. This is especially true for adventure tourism. The development of life support technologies in previously considered impossible conditions created an imaginary confidence in the safety of tourists. Modern tendencies of increasing the level of travel "extreme", the consent of physically, technically and psychologically unprepared people to pay big money for the right to enter the history of tourism lead to an increase in the number of accidents and disasters.
In the Federal Law on the Fundamentals of Tourist Activities in the Russian Federation, tourism safety is understood as "the personal safety of tourists, the safety of their property and not causing damage to the environment when traveling," i.e. safety is interpreted as the absence of dangers, although this approach is not entirely correct.
It is known that dangers lie in wait for a person always and everywhere, even in everyday life, being his constant companion, for example, occupational diseases in active tourists (Table 4.). Therefore, we can talk about some admissible value of the probability that a dangerous situation will occur, i.e. about the risk. In the case of ecotourism, the latter formulation is especially relevant, since the natural environment that forms the basis of ecotourism is full of dangers.
Table 4.. Occupational diseases in adventure tourism Types of hazards Type of disease Unfavorable meteorological conditions Colds Alpine climate Disorders of the heart, mountain sickness Solar radiation Eye diseases, sunburns Different from the usual daily regimen, diet Intestinal disorders, gastritis, metabolic disorders, dehydration, joint diseases, prolonged physical movement Rough terrain with a heavy backpack Curvature of the spine, varicose veins, joint diseases Insect bites Tick-borne encephalitis
Thus, according to the Federal Law "On the Basics of Tourist Activities in the Russian Federation", safety in ecological and adventure tourism consists of three components: personal safety of ecotourists; the safety of their property; safety of the natural environment in which tourists travel, i.e. in fact, the safety of the natural tourist resources used.