Customer rights

The main risks for customers when participating in sports or leisure activities are related to accidents. Sports activities are often not accessible for customers with disabilities.

Accidents

The working conditions of guides or teachers in leisure or sports activities can have a direct impact on the safety and health of customers. High stress levels or long working hours of guides may lead to negligence or bad decisions, which can be particularly harmful in adventure sports or for activities in potentially dangerous areas (mountains, outback, sea, etc.), leading to additional risks for customers. The same goes for low wages, which may lead guides to choose more dangerous tours or routes for an additional payment. Tour operators should make sure that sports and leisure activities are operated by guides who are qualified and well-trained. Furthermore, bad material or maintenance may lead to an increased number of accidents.

See also the risk card on Leisure and Sports / Workers’ rights.

Accessibility

Various organisations stress the significance of sports and recreation for the wellbeing of people with disabilities. However, sports and leisure activities are often not accessible to everyone. Even more than other customers, people with disabilities are dependent on well-trained guides and teachers, who are informed about and sensitive to the specific needs of their customers.

People with disabilities have special needs when it comes to outdoor activities, which must be met by adapting the existing activities and creating new ones. Often, activity providers would like to open their activities also for people with disabilities, but struggle with the implementation. Nature Friends International (NFI) in the past offered multiple workshops about creating accessible outdoor sport activities. Participants got sensitized for specific needs of persons with disabilities, be it in a wheelchair, being blind or hearing impaired, and how activities could be planned and adapted.

Rocky Mountain Wheelchair Tours provides custom-designed tours for seniors and people with physical, audio, visual or mental challenges in Alberta, Canada. The offers include heli-tours, dog-sledding, sit-ski lessons, hiking, or fishing trips. The company also developed an app to search for barrier-free accommodation and restaurants in the region.

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Take action

Policy and process

  • Integrate customer health and safety provisions in your own company policy and in the Supplier Code of Conduct to be signed by business partners.

Training and capacity building

  • Train staff providing leisure and sports activities to customers on customer health and safety.

Communication and reporting

  • Communicate proactively on the accessibility of your services.

Responsible product development

  • Develop products suited for people with disabilities.

Find more information on potential measures to take on the "take action" site. 

Learn more

Find more information in the Resource Centre.