Canyoning nowadays has become one of the latest innovations in adventure tourism. Canyoning is the sport of descending canyons. It can be done in dry canyons but most of the time canyoning or canyoneering is done in creek canyons. Sliding down waterfalls and splashing into deep pools that have been carved by millennia of fast flowing water using various methods: swimming, jumping, and abseiling, using ropes, and cascading down whitewater chutes. There is some hiking involved to access the canyons, but about 80% of the time is spent in the canyon.
Canyoning has been a very popular sport and outdoor activity in France and also in other European countries and there has been a promising demand for it in Bali already. Adventure & Spirit, an Ubud-based adventure company specializing in canyoning has identified the increasing demand in the market and contacted Swisscontact WISATA for assistance to establish linkages with local stakeholders for canyoning business development opportunity in Flores. With its unique topography, Flores has its treasure chest full of yet to explore outdoor adventures with canyoning being one of them.
Canyoning may be offered as part of a adventure holiday combination, which is exactly what Flores has to offer as an adventure and culture destination. It’s common to combine canyoning with trekking, mountain biking or even white water rafting where the sites allow for such activities. On the other site it will also be a nice additional adventurous day tour for travelers more interested in relaxation, beach and cultural activities. Further canyoning has the potential to be developed for team building group packages and also as training package from beginner to instructor level.
Swisscontact WISATA through its Field Offices has facilitated two meetings in November between Adventure & Spirit, represented by Mr. Michael Denissot and Mr. Robin Endro, and Flores local stakeholders represented by tour operators specializing in trekking and volcano climbing. The meetings intended to introduce and get feedback from local tourism business players for the possibility of developing canyoning in Flores. During the site visits, other than the two meetings, Adventure & Spirit also carried out a preliminary assessment on potential canyoning sites such as Cunca Rami and Cunca Wulang waterfalls in Western Flores as its elevations, angles and water discharge matched the initial activity requirements.
Although Flores offers a vast amount of potential sites for canyoning, a thorough study and planning are still required to address the challenging geographical contours involving the speleology, logistic, safety issues and resources available. Other than those issues, skillful canyoning tour guides, availability of related support services for the adventure such as transport, accommodation and meal providers especially from the community, etc will also be in demand if Flores wishes to proceed with canyoning.
Safety assurance is a crucial issue in canyoning. Necessary and proper equipment in place is a must for a safe canyoning as well as other necessary equipment like special canyoning wet suite, helmet, or special hooks for the canyon bank. Every canyoning site however must be planned carefully and must be in line with the environmental sensitivity issue that it should not destroy the rocks. More information on canyoning safety guidelines are at an easy reach from EFC, CIC or Google.
In the long run, Adventure and Spirit has a wish to partner with local communities and tourism players in exploring and developing canyoning adventure tours that will help flourish the nature charm Flores offers to international travelers. Product development and testing is scheduled for the first half of 2011. Information on Adventure & Spirit, can be retrieved from their website or have a glimpse at canyoning launch in Bali.
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