Best Practice Guidelines For Tourism Operators

Surf Life Saving Queensland and Queensland Tourism Industry Council has released the Water Safety Handbook has been updated as part of the ongoing commitment of tourism stakeholders to achieve the aim of ‘zero water deaths,’ set by the Queensland Visitor Safety Working Group.

The handbook is a set of best practice guidelines for tourism operators to assist in keeping Queensland’s visitors safe in all aquatic environments.

It is intended that tourism operators refer to these guidelines to develop their own operations manuals and to utilise the checklists to conduct regular safety audits.

When applying the following guidelines please pay special attention to the following groups of visitors as they typically fall into a ‘high risk’ category:

  •  Children aged 0-4
  • Males between 16-35
  • International and domestic tourists
  • Residents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds
  • Rock fishing enthusiasts


Try to be SHORT, SHARP AND SUCCINCT when presenting information to visitors as they are often distracted by the excitement of water-based activities.

But remember they still need to know how to keep safe!
The aim is to minimise risks and educate visitors of the dangers so they can make informed decisions about their actions.

Try not to terrorise them.

Remember! Guests need to receive safety information BEFORE they embark upon aquatic-based activity.

The following guidelines must be read in conjunction with the Visitor Safety Checklists and supporting Fact Sheets.

Read the handbook here