Adventure tourism operators guide and supervise tourists on exciting outdoor activities, up mountains, down rapids, and on biking trips through forests. They help make dreams come true for many people. Activities may include rafting, canoeing, diving, fishing, climbing, hiking, bungee jumping, sailing etc, and take place in a variety of outdoor locations. They also teach the skills necessary for these activities.
The function of adventure tourism operators is similar to that of regular tour guides, or ecotour guides. However, instead of showing people historically significant locations or guiding people on environmentally friendly camping trips, adventure tourism operators guide and supervise tourists on exciting, heart-thumping activities and tours.
State and provincial governments and municipalities generally support adventure tourism. As well as providing a new source of economic growth in these areas, adventure tour leaders are often key players in preserving natural resources, as well as promoting conservation. Often, adventure tours generate money for developing parks, environmental services, and for natural resource management. They sometimes even clean up the mess made by other people (some adventure tourism operators lead trips up Mount Everest with the object of removing empty oxygen canisters left on the mountain by climbers).
Adventure tourism operators are responsible for the safety of all of their clients during these activities. They make use of and maintain recreational equipment such as rafts and ropes.
Adventure tours are only some of the many tours offered by tour groups and travel agencies. But tourists who participate in trips with adventure tour guides are challenged in ways that tours to museums etc. cannot provide.