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We partnered with the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) to come up with tips to help you host a safe hang gliding or paragliding experience. These are best practices, but you’re the expert on the activities you lead. A great Host always thinks about what more they can do to keep everyone safe. 

Set the right expectations

If there are health, fitness, or other requirements needed to safely enjoy the experience, make this clear in your experience’s description. This includes providing details about the length of time, any weight or height requirements, exertion and fitness required, and skill levels needed. 

Here’s a guide from the ATTA to help you communicate to guests what skill level is needed for your hang gliding or paragliding experience: 

Hang gliding 

  • Beginner: A standard ‘panoramic’ commercial tandem flight, usually lasting 15-25 min, taking off from a recognised hang gliding take off zone, and landing in a flat safe area used for hang gliding landings.  

Paragliding

  • Beginner: A standard ‘panoramic’ commercial tandem flight, usually lasting 15-25 min, taking off from a recognised paragliding take off zone, and landing in a flat safe area used for paragliding landings. 
  • Intermediate: Similar flight to beginner, but flight might be taken around many other paragliders, or has a riskier take off and landing zone such as landing in mountainous regions, near trees or on busy beaches. 

Communicate with guests often 

Once someone books, you can use Airbnb’s messaging system to introduce yourself and help your guests feel welcome and prepared. Let them know that you’re available to answer any questions. 

Ask your guests if they have any health concerns that may affect their participation. This may be anything from a food allergy to a heart condition. Make sure you’re clear on what modifications you’re able or willing to make to accommodate them. If guests have a fear of heights, have vertigo or have a fear of flying that this is also communicated to you so that it can be appropriately managed, if they want to proceed with the experience. It may seem obvious, but confirm that all guests know not to consume any alcohol or drugs before the experience. 

You should create an experience where your guests feel comfortable asking questions at any point. Try to anticipate common points of concern (such as how to use the bathroom on your experience, expectations for interaction with others, etc.). Address these concerns outright–and make yourself available to attend to these and any others questions throughout your experience.

Listen with patience and authentic concern, and try to put yourself in your guests shoes. This could include practical matters like if there will be food, snacks, or water provided, if they should bring their own water bottle, and what bathroom facilities are available. For hang gliding or paragliding, this also includes making sure guests have the required fitness to enjoy the experience, what equipment you provide, and characteristics of the items they need to provide, for example, a pack for carrying personal items, appropriate footwear, and clothing layers. Try to address these concerns before guests have to ask. What may seem normal to you may be difficult or fear-inspiring for your guests, so your communication is key to a safe and enjoyable experience. 

Follow local regulations & check forecasts

You should have the local knowledge to know if and when it’s acceptable for you to fly and what rules or regulations apply to areas in which you may fly. You should have meteorological equipment such as anemometers to have an accurate wind speed reading and know which direction the wind is blowing, and aeronautical meteorological forecasts to have the necessary information to decide on whether it is acceptable and safe for you to fly.

Set expectations with a pre-experience briefing

Before you head into the air, we suggest briefing guests on what is expected and what they will need to do during the duration of the experience, and any emergency procedures that they may or will be expected to assist with. To make sure guests of any level are comfortable before you fly, talk about what they will experience and how they can make the most out of it. 

As a hang or paragliding host, you should be constantly assessing your guests’ skills–while briefing on the ground, taking off, and during the actual flight, to descend and prepare for the landing. Keep checking in: communicate to the guests how they’re feeling and observe them to see if they’re comfortable with the conditions. 

Provide the right gear

Confirm with your guests that they’re comfortable in their passenger harness and they have been briefed on the components of the tandem hang glider or paraglider, and are happy that it has been correctly installed with pre-flight checks made, the equipment will be maintained and inspected as per the governing body regulations. 

The helmet you provide and goggles if provided must be clean, serviceable and fit the guest. 

Always have a comprehensive first aid kit easily accessible at your take off and landing zone sites.

Choose the proper conditions

Regardless of the level of hang and paragliding, the weather conditions have to be safe and stable in order to fly. The weather limitations will be dictated in your national FAI (World Air Sports Federation) approved regulations and these must be abided by for the safety of you, your guests and all other users in the air.

Have an emergency action plan 

As a hang gliding or paragliding host, you should have tandem Instructors who have an up-to-date first aid and CPR certification.  If you’ll be more than an hour away from medical care, it’s best practice to have a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Wilderness Advanced First Aid (WAFA), along with CPR certification. You should have extensive flying experience in the areas and conditions you take your guests gliding. 

You also want to have an emergency action plan and share it with your guests: let them know what they should do in case of emergency, which could include injury, along with unexpected weather, turbulence, gusts of wind, or clouds and reduced visibility. Find out more about making an emergency plan.

Partner disclaimers

Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA): Courtesy of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. ©2021 Adventure Travel Trade Association. All rights reserved.

The Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) name and logo are used with its permission, which in no way constitutes an endorsement or vetting of, express or implied, of any product, service, person, company, opinion or political position. The ATTA does not select or approve, and is not involved in the selection or approval of, Airbnb Experiences or hosts. For more information about the Adventure Travel Trade Association, visit adventuretravel.biz.