Our Members - Their Stories
Taking Inclusive Tourism to the next level
23 Jun 2022
It’s all about the experience and opening possibilities to ensure everybody can experience adventure.
By Jezza Williams
Once, I was talking with a young woman about why she doesn’t get out and enjoy adventure.
Her reply was: “Being born with a disability everything was impossible when I was a child so it was put in the too hard basket and that’s where it stayed.”
Well, things have changed, and adventure experiences are now becoming inclusive to all.
I feel privileged.
Ever since my feet touched the ground they wanted to adventure.
In fact, following my passion took me on a journey of two decades of guiding internationally on spectacular rivers and canyons, adventuring into lost jungles, patrolling steep and deep mountains.
Working in wild environments, I chose a life of risk taking and exploring limits.
Adventure has taught me life lessons, it prepared me for anything and encouraged me to live to my potential.
So, when a life-changing canyoning accident in the Swiss Alps left me with a C5 spinal cord injury, I was ready to accept the challenge.
After a lifetime of experience in the adventure industry my initial fear was that I’d never be able to get amongst the action again.
After researching the possibilities for someone that was in my new predicament to experience adventure; I was blown away at the lack of opportunity and infrastructure.
Changing my focus, I decided to open the adventure industry to all and in 2012 Makingtrax was born.
Jezza Williams, right, has always had a love of adventuring and the outdoors.
I originally opened the experiences that I knew, and funnily enough these were the most difficult – rafting, paragliding, sea kayaking etc.
Makingtrax focuses on the experience rather than the infrastructure.
It is called Inclusive Tourism, a little different than Accessible Tourism where the focus is on infrastructure.
In the adventure industry making everything accessible is just not possible or practical.
Inclusive Tourism is about the experience and opening possibilities, we do this through:
• Education – to the industry
• Information – to you the client
• Cooperation – between the operator and you, assisting both to adapt with simple solutions
• Adaptation – only if required
• Promotion – providing awareness to possibilities.
As a tetraplegic, with my experience I’m the perfect guinea pig, realising what is possible, practical and safe.
So, if my body can do it, most bodies can do it.
The Inclusive Directory on the Makingtrax Foundation website has our inclusive experiences, and the relevant information for you to understand what the activity involves, to see if it suits your ability.
We also provide packages from adventure travel to river rafting trips, tips and tricks for organising your adventure or funding pathways if finance is your barrier.
We are continually evolving so keep up to date, follow our journey as we are committed to opening the world of adventure possibilities to all.
We believe everyone should be able to rock up to our inclusive operators and enjoy an adventure – all the adaptive equipment is with them.
Makingtrax also designs and manufacturers support seats and other adaptive systems to open up everything from whitewater rafting through to paragliding.
Jezza Williams, pictured, says Inclusive Tourism is about opening possibilities.
A little taste of the most popular destinations:
Queenstown – Paragliding to packrafting, canyon swing or the world’s only commercial jet sprint are just a few.
Franz Josef – Snow landings with a ski chair, skydiving 20,000ft above, or sea-kayak through rainforests.
Abel Tasman – Golden beaches, sea kayaking eco tours or waka cultural experience.
Auckland – Whitewater park or skydive 20,000ft.
Our harnesses make everything fun, safe and simple.
There are no excuses, so get busy living!
Makingtrax is a charitable trust – The Makingtrax Foundation.
Our vision is to see all adventure operators, outdoor educators, the tourism industry, Department of Conservation and cycleways embracing inclusion, whilst having adoption and education in place to make these experiences possible for everyBODY.
To learn more about Makingtrax go to www.makingtrax.co.nz.
This article was originally published in the May-Aug 2022 edition of The Review magazine.
For more information:
Mobile: 022 087 8191