Risky destinations have been becoming increasingly popular drawcards for tourists as greater global affluence creates more travel opportunities. This also coincides with the superficial competition for ever more exotic destinations to boast about on social media.
It is not as though visiting dangerous locales is a new phenomenon, but it is now seen as being a legal minefield as much as it endangers lives in the same way an actual minefield would. Just how responsible can people be for their misfortune in the event of a natural disaster such as a volcanic eruption or avalanche is a serious issue worth weighing up next time you’re on vacation and considering hiking up the side of an active volcano to get a glimpse of the crater within.
There is a duty of care on the part of tour operators and tourism boards that would seem to override any waiver of liability that thrill-seekers blindly sign. They surely should be responsible for cancelling all trips and access to sites that are of high enough risk to outweigh the tourist dollars otherwise earned.
Then again, children taken there by irresponsible parents aside, the adults who visit such places must also be at least partly aware of the mortal dangers involved.
It is pretty ironic that the volcanologists quoted in this article have all visited the site of the eruption at least once, but now claim that it was too dangerous to visit and “a disaster waiting to happen”, after they had already visited the volcano and put themselves and their companions at risk. What makes travelling there in the name of ‘science’ any more justified than travelling there in the name of entertainment?