Adventure tourism — Hiking and trekking activities — Requirements and recommendations

This document establishes requirements for adventure tourism involving hiking and trekking activities, relating to the safety of participants, leaders and assistants. This document also establishes criteria relating to characteristics and difficulty level for hiking and trekking route classification. This document applies to hiking and trekking activities that are offered as tourism products. Tourism product design involves a product planning and development phase that is not subject to this document. Some tourism products include hiking and/or trekking activities together with other tourism services (e.g. transfers, meals, lodging), but this document applies only to hiking and trekking activities, the additional tourism services being excluded from the scope. This document is applicable to any kind of adventure tourism activity provider that offers tourism products consisting of hiking and/or trekking activities.

Tourisme d’aventure — Activités de randonnée et de trekking — Exigences et recommandations

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Status
Published
Publication Date
09-Jan-2023
Current Stage
6060 - International Standard published
Due Date
18-Dec-2022
Completion Date
10-Jan-2023
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INTERNATIONAL ISO
STANDARD 3021
First edition
2023-01
Adventure tourism — Hiking and
trekking activities — Requirements
and recommendations
Tourisme d’aventure — Activités de randonnée et de trekking —
Exigences et recommandations
Reference number
ISO 3021:2023(E)
© ISO 2023
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ISO 3021:2023(E)
COPYRIGHT PROTECTED DOCUMENT
© ISO 2023

All rights reserved. Unless otherwise specified, or required in the context of its implementation, no part of this publication may

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© ISO 2023 – All rights reserved
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ISO 3021:2023(E)
Contents Page

Foreword ..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................v

Introduction .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................. vi

1 Scope ................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 1

2 Normative references ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

3 Terms and definitions .................................................................................................................................................................................... 1

4 Service requirements .....................................................................................................................................................................................4

5 L e ader s h ip .................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 5

5.1 Leader qualifications and quantities .................................................................................................................................. 5

5.2 Assistant competencies .................................................................................................................................................................. 5

6 Participants ............................................................................................................................................................................................................... 6

6.1 Profile collection ................................................................................................................................................................................... 6

6.2 Information analysis ......................................................................................................................................................................... 6

7 Equipment ................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 7

7.1 Equipment availability and quantities .............................................................................................................................. 7

7.1.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 7

7.1.2 Collective equipment ...................................................................................................................................................... 7

7.1.3 Individual equipment ..................................................................................................................................................... 7

7.2 Equipment maintenance, cleaning and sanitizing .................................................................................................. 8

8 Participant preparation ............................................................................................................................................................................... 9

8.1 Information for participants ...................................................................................................................................................... 9

8.1.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 9

8.1.2 Knowledge of risks and responsibilities ....................................................................................................... 9

8.2 Participant instruction ................................................................................................................................................................ 10

9 Safety and insurance requirements .............................................................................................................................................10

9.1 General ........................................................................................................................................................................................................ 10

9.2 Prevention of risks and safety measures ..................................................................................................................... 10

9.3 Communication ................................................................................................................................................................................... 11

9.4 Specific requirements for self-guided routes ........................................................................................................... 11

10 Risk management ............................................................................................................................................................................................12

10.1 Risk analysis and assessment ................................................................................................................................................12

10.2 Hazard and risk inventory ........................................................................................................................................................12

10.3 Risk treatment .....................................................................................................................................................................................13

10.4 Emergency preparedness and response ....................................................................................................................... 13

11 Service completion .........................................................................................................................................................................................14

12 Service control ....................................................................................................................................................................................................14

12.1 General requirements ................................................................................................................................................................... 14

12.2 Records ....................................................................................................................................................................................................... 15

12.2.1 Maintaining a registration system .................................................................................................................. 15

12.2.2 Suggestion and critical records ......................................................................................................................... 15

12.2.3 Incident recording, including accidents ................................... ................................................................... 15

12.3 Procedures .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 16

12.4 Critical service review .................................................................................................................................................................. 16

13 Social and environmental mitigation and conservation ........................................................................................16

14 Route classification ........................................................................................................................................................................................17

14.1 General requirements ................................................................................................................................................................... 17

14.2 Classification criteria .................................................................................................................................................................... 17

14.3 Classification procedures .......................................................................................................................................................... 17

14.3.1 General ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 17

iii
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ISO 3021:2023(E)

14.3.2 Severity of the environment ................................................................................................................................. 18

14.3.3 Route navigation orientation ............................................................................................................................... 19

14.3.4 Terrain conditions .......................................................................................................................................................... 19

14.3.5 Physical exertion ............................................................................................................................................................. 20

14.4 Classification communication ................................................................................................................................................ 23

Annex A (informative) Hiking and trekking route classification reference table ...........................................25

Annex B (informative) Hiking and trekking route classification form .......................................................................26

Annex C (informative) Example of hiking and trekking route classification .......................................................28

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................................................................29

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ISO 3021:2023(E)
Foreword

ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards

bodies (ISO member bodies). The work of preparing International Standards is normally carried out

through ISO technical committees. Each member body interested in a subject for which a technical

committee has been established has the right to be represented on that committee. International

organizations, governmental and non-governmental, in liaison with ISO, also take part in the work.

ISO collaborates closely with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) on all matters of

electrotechnical standardization.

The procedures used to develop this document and those intended for its further maintenance are

described in the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1. In particular, the different approval criteria needed for the

different types of ISO documents should be noted. This document was drafted in accordance with the

editorial rules of the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 2 (see www.iso.org/directives).

Attention is drawn to the possibility that some of the elements of this document may be the subject of

patent rights. ISO shall not be held responsible for identifying any or all such patent rights. Details of

any patent rights identified during the development of the document will be in the Introduction and/or

on the ISO list of patent declarations received (see www.iso.org/patents).

Any trade name used in this document is information given for the convenience of users and does not

constitute an endorsement.

For an explanation of the voluntary nature of standards, the meaning of ISO specific terms and

expressions related to conformity assessment, as well as information about ISO's adherence to

the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles in the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), see

www.iso.org/iso/foreword.html.

This document was prepared by Technical Committee ISO/TC 228, Tourism and related services.

Any feedback or questions on this document should be directed to the user’s national standards body. A

complete listing of these bodies can be found at www.iso.org/members.html.
© ISO 2023 – All rights reserved
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ISO 3021:2023(E)
Introduction
0.1 Adventure tourism

Adventure tourism is a global industry that is growing in importance. Whether provided on a

commercial, not-for-profit or charitable basis, adventure tourism activities involve an accepted,

inherent element of risk and challenge. Taking risks brings rewards but also brings dangers. In order

to maximize the rewards, adventure tourism activity providers should operate as safely as practicable.

ISO 20611, ISO 21101, ISO 21102 and ISO 21103 provide a basis for adventure tourism activity providers

to plan, deliver and inform people about adventure tourism activities as safely as practicable.

Effective implementation of these documents will help consumers and other participants make

informed choices about activities and providers.
0.2 Adventure tourism standards

The purpose of these four documents is to establish the minimum requirements for safety management

systems and information for participants.

The documents are independent entities since they apply to different aspects of adventure tourism:

— ISO 20611: provides requirements and recommendations for good practices for sustainability

(environmental, social and economic aspects) for adventure tourism activities;

— ISO 21101: specifies how the adventure tourism activity provider manages its operations in terms

of safety;

NOTE ISO 21101 – Adventure tourism – Safety management systems – A practical guide for SMEs is a

handbook that offers step-by-step guidance and examples to help small and medium-sized adventure

tourism operators to develop, implement and continually improve a safety management system following

the requirements of ISO 21101.

— ISO 21102: specifies the minimum requirements and recommendations for competencies and the

related expected results of competencies for adventure tourism activity leaders common to any

adventure tourism activity;

— ISO 21103: specifies the minimum information that shall be communicated to participant and

potential participant before, during and after the activity.
0.3 Purpose of this document

This document specifies service requirements and route classifications in adventure tourism involving

hiking and trekking activities, with the purpose of facilitating the safe delivery of these activities.

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INTERNATIONAL STANDARD ISO 3021:2023(E)
Adventure tourism — Hiking and trekking activities —
Requirements and recommendations
1 Scope

This document establishes requirements for adventure tourism involving hiking and trekking activities,

relating to the safety of participants, leaders and assistants.

This document also establishes criteria relating to characteristics and difficulty level for hiking and

trekking route classification.

This document applies to hiking and trekking activities that are offered as tourism products. Tourism

product design involves a product planning and development phase that is not subject to this document.

Some tourism products include hiking and/or trekking activities together with other tourism services

(e.g. transfers, meals, lodging), but this document applies only to hiking and trekking activities, the

additional tourism services being excluded from the scope.

This document is applicable to any kind of adventure tourism activity provider that offers tourism

products consisting of hiking and/or trekking activities.
2 Normative references

The following documents are referred to in the text in such a way that some or all of their content

constitutes requirements of this document. For dated references, only the edition cited applies. For

undated references, the latest edition of the referenced document (including any amendments) applies.

ISO 21101, Adventure tourism — Safety management systems — Requirements
ISO 21102, Adventure tourism — Leaders — Personnel competence
ISO 21103, Adventure tourism — Information for participants
3 Terms and definitions
For the purposes of this document, the following terms and definitions apply.

ISO and IEC maintain terminology databases for use in standardization at the following addresses:

— ISO Online browsing platform: available at https:// www .iso .org/ obp
— IEC Electropedia: available at https:// www .electropedia .org/
3.1
adventure tourism activity

adventure activity for tourism purposes that involves a degree of instruction or leadership, safety

management and an accepted inherent risk (3.15)

Note 1 to entry: An accepted inherent risk means that the participant (3.14) has a reasonable understanding

about the risk involved.
[SOURCE: ISO 21101:2014, 3.35, modified]
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ISO 3021:2023(E)
3.2
adventure tourism activity provider

individual or organization having overall responsibility for all aspects of the provision of adventure

tourism activities (3.1)

Note 1 to entry: Adventure tourism activities can be provided free of charge or in return for payment.

[SOURCE: ISO 21101:2014, 3.36]
3.3
altimetric variation
altitude variation between two waypoints
3.4
assistant
competent person who is able to assist and support the leader (3.13)
3.5
difficulty level

rating or degree of physical and psychological exertion expected to be encountered while participating

in an adventure tourism activity (3.1), based on factors such as required technical capacity, terrain,

altitude or climate

Note 1 to entry: Annex A includes criteria indicating difficult levels of the activity

3.6
exertion index in hiking and trekking

estimate of the exertion required by a person to complete a journey

3.7
emergency
serious situation requiring immediate action
[SOURCE: ISO 21101:2014, 3.43]
3.8
first aid

emergency (3.7) procedures aimed at maintaining vital functions while ensuring that the condition of

a casualty who is injured or unconscious or whose life is in danger is not aggravated, until he or she

receives more qualified assistance for further treatment
[SOURCE: ISO 21102:2020, 3.7, modified]
3.9
hiking

adventure tourism activity (3.1) where the main element is walking and is less arduous than trekking

(3.24)
3.10
interested party

person or organization that can affect, be affected by or perceive itself to be affected by a decision or

activity
3.11
itinerary

description of the component parts involved in the adventure tourism activity (3.1), listing times,

locations and activities
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ISO 3021:2023(E)
3.12
leader

competent person who takes responsibility for people, and is able to lead, guide and supervise an

assigned activity

Note 1 to entry: A leader can also be referred to as a ‘guide’, ‘monitor’ or similar.

[SOURCE: ISO 21102:2020, 3.8, modified]
3.13
participant

person taking part in the adventure tourism activity (3.1) but not a member of the leadership team

Note 1 to entry: A participant can also be referred to as a ‘client’, ‘customer’ or similar.

Note 2 to entry: A leadership team comprises several leaders (3.12).
[SOURCE: ISO 21101:2014, 3.37, modified]
3.14
risk
effect of uncertainty on objectives

Note 1 to entry: An effect is a deviation from the expected. It can be positive, negative or both, and can address,

create or result in opportunities and threats.

Note 2 to entry: Objectives can have different aspects and categories and can be applied at different levels.

Note 3 to entry: Risk is usually expressed in terms of risk sources, potential events, their consequences and

their likelihood.
[SOURCE: ISO 31000:2018, 3.1]
3.15
route
course from the beginning of the adventure tourism activity (3.1) to its end
Note 1 to entry: In some routes, the start and end points are the same.
3.16
self-rescue

specific techniques implemented by a person on his or her own to manage adverse situations without

external intervention

Note 1 to entry: In some situations, there can be more than one person engaged in self-rescue.

3.17
self-belay system
self-connection system

safety device system, connected to the harness fixing point and connected to a safety point, made of

ropes or another connection

Note 1 to entry: The self-belay system can have the capacity to absorb impact forces.

Note 2 to entry: A safety point can be a leash, a sling or a lanyard.
3.18
single-track trail
trail (3.23) where only one person or bicycle can pass at a time
3.19
stakeholder

individual or group that has an interest in any decision or activity of an organization

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ISO 3021:2023(E)
3.20
support vehicle

vehicle intended for logistical support during the course of the journey, except for the

removal of an injured person
3.21
sustainability

state of the global system, including environmental, social and economic aspects, in which the needs

of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs

Note 1 to entry: The environmental, social and economic aspects interact, are interdependent and are often

referred to as the three dimensions of sustainability.
Note 2 to entry: Sustainability is the goal of sustainable development.
[SOURCE: ISO Guide 82:2019, 3.1]
3.22
third-party provider

external organization or individual that provides services to the adventure tourism activity provider

(3.2)
3.23
trail
narrow road, track or pathway, usually unpaved, in natural surroundings
3.24
trekking

adventure tourism activity (3.1) in a natural environment, on trails (3.23), which is self-sufficient for

survival, includes an overnight stay and is more arduous than hiking (3.9)

Note 1 to entry: Trekking activities can include an overnight stay of one or more nights.

Note 2 to entry: Overnight stays can be in, for example, campsites or camp grounds, farms, hostels, lodges or

bivouacs.
4 Service requirements

The hiking and trekking tourism product shall be designed and provided in such a way that the safety

of the participants, leader and personnel involved in providing the product is ensured and the inherent

risk is communicated to all stakeholders or interested parties.
The adventure tourism activity provider responsible for the operation shall:

a) ensure that leaders meet the qualification requirements set out in this document;

b) maintain records of the leaders’ continual development of competencies;

c) ensure that any service contracted to third-party providers that affects the quality and safety of

the tourism product meets the requirements of this document and any others that the adventure

tourism activity provider establishes;

d) ensure there are plans and procedures for safety checks of the equipment, gear and supplies

necessary for use during the adventure tourism activities; these safety checks shall be conducted

prior to the activities and the results recorded and made available for review;
e) adhere to the existing stipulations of use for the visited environment;

f) adopt the use plans or ecological area plans available when the attraction is in a conservation area

or in an area with some environmental restrictions;
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ISO 3021:2023(E)

g) introduce measures to implement and improve hygiene care, to prevent contamination to workers,

participants and the visited communities and to enhance health conditions in the adventure

tourism destination;

h) ensure that weather forecasts and any hazardous conditions are taken into account before starting

the activities.

It is important to monitor available information from pertinent institutions regarding hazard conditions

(see 10.1).

According to the characteristics of the place of operation and the offered tourism product, the

establishment of a maximum number of participants per activity shall be considered. When planning

and operating the hiking and trekking activities, the organization shall adopt responsible environmental

and social practices, such as the recommendations for conscious conduct in a natural environment (see

ISO 20611). The adventure tourism activity provider shall consider official health recommendations

regarding sanitary measures at the time to define a safe number of participants.

When planning the hiking and trekking product, the organization shall consider the carrying capacity

of the tourist attraction where the activity takes place. This can include reduction of the number of

participants, considering the characteristics of each specific route, defining protocols for the flow path

of participants and the use of common spaces.

For tourism products with hiking and trekking activities, the minimum age of the participants is

determined by regulatory authorities. If the adventure tourism activity provider offers tourism

products to children under the minimum age or to participants with disabilities, this product shall be

subject to planning that considers the characteristics, procedures and equipment necessary to ensure

the safety of those specific participants. These products can require professionals, equipment and

specific conditions other than those provided in this document.
The measures adopted shall be validated, technically justified and documented.

The route shall have been previously established and the itinerary shall be documented.

Hiking or trekking routes should be classified. Classification shall be in accordance with Clause 14

and shall be known to the leader, participants (and assistants, if applicable) and other stakeholders or

interested parties involved in the operation.
5 Leadership
5.1 Leader qualifications and quantities

The operating team, except in the case of self-guided routes, which are dealt with in 9.3, shall be

composed of leaders who meet the requirements of ISO 21102.

The hiking or trekking adventure tourism activity provider shall determine the minimum number of

leaders and assistants to ensure the safety of the group. These quantities of assistants (if applicable),

participants and leaders shall be documented, based on the implementation of ISO 21101.

Environmental concerns, including sanitary considerations, can require reducing the maximum number

of participants per group. If they exist, minimum impact practices should be taken into account.

5.2 Assistant competencies

The assistant shall have knowledge in order to act as support to the leader. At a minimum, this shall

include knowledge of the region, main route and alternative routes.
The assistant shall be able to:

a) instruct participants about hiking or trekking techniques and the use of equipment;

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ISO 3021:2023(E)

b) ensure the smooth progress, pace and cohesion of the group, including controlling participant well-

being;
c) support the leader in emergency situations;

d) use different communication systems [e.g. satellite phones, global positioning system (GPS), radio];

e) instruct participants about technical, hygiene and sanitary measures to improve safety throughout

all operations.
6 Participants
6.1 Profile collection

The adventure tourism activity provider shall obtain at least the following information from each

participant:
a) name;
b) telephone number;
c) document number (ID or passport);
d) emergency contact;
e) specific health or medical conditions,
...

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