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  • Shreya Sangal

The Deadly Delight of Extreme Tourism: Balancing Thrills, Risks, and Responsibility

In the pursuit of adventure and thrill, how far are we willing to go, even at the cost of our life?

On 18th June 2023, tragedy struck when the Titan submersible imploded, leading to the death of five people on board an expedition to witness the remains of the Titanic shipwreck. Despite the risks and dangers involved, extreme tourism is gaining popularity day by day.

Extreme tourism, also known as shock tourism, is a form of travel that is characterised by adventure and even physical danger. Extreme tourists visit places considered extremely unsafe due to physical or political reasons. It is a small but growing part of adventure tourism that became popular during the Covid lockdown. Whether it's visiting the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, travelling to space like Jeff Bezos, or trekking on an active volcano, extreme tourism offers an adrenaline rush caused by the element of risk.

Extreme tourism comes at an exorbitant price and is sought-after by the wealthy. Passengers on the Titanic wreckage expedition paid a whopping $250,000 per person. In a world plagued by poverty, war, and destruction, it is disheartening to see the wealthy squandering enormous amounts of money on extreme tourism, even though it puts their lives on the line. Before embarking on their journey, the passengers had to sign a waiver that prominently mentioned the word "death" thrice on the first page. Ironically, these life-threatening risks seem to attract customers rather than dissuade them.

In conclusion, this deadly form of tourism should prioritise safety and ensure zero risk of fatalities. Extreme tourism that poses a possibility of injury or death should be banned for the sake of humanity.

Richard Garriott, president of the Explorers Club, rightly said, "While we should all appreciate efforts to innovate and push the boundaries of exploration, this must be done safely and sensibly.”

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