How one company opened adventures to all
This week Leonard Cheshire and Expedia Group released a new report about making the travel industry more inclusive.
One of the people to contribute to the report was Jezza Williams. We spoke to him about how he set out to open up adventure tourism for disabled people with his company Makingtrax.
Jezza Williams grew up with a love for exploring. He lives for adventurous experiences like diving, rafting and paragliding. After he became tetraplegic in 2010, he looked around for ways to keep doing these activities.
But Jezza found little in the way of inclusive adventure tourism experiences.
“I looked at the outdoor industry and realised that there weren’t that many opportunities out there,” Jezza said. “With a lifetime of experience, I wanted to open the adventure industry as much as I could.”
To do this, Jezza formed Makingtrax. This is a company that provides adaptive adventure experiences for disabled travellers. It works in New Zealand and beyond.
Makingtrax also set out to help other adventure operators become more inclusive. It did this by giving them knowledge and skills to remove barriers and make adjustments to a whole range of activities. Makingtrax supports adventure tourism operators to join the ‘inclusive tourism’ movement. This includes joining their ‘Inclusive Directory’. This is a comprehensive list of inclusive providers in New Zealand.
Makingtrax developed the ‘Trax Seal’. This is a benchmark of adaptive adventure travel and inclusive tourism. The ‘Trax Seal’ goes to all approved Makingtrax subscribers. They can then display it on their websites, marketing materials and social media. The ‘Trax Seal’ shows providers' commitment to inclusive tourism. It also signals their links to support and guidance from the Makingtrax team.
“Inclusive tourism is key,” Jezza Williams said. “We have to tailor our experiences to our clients and give travellers confidence that we can provide them with a great, inclusive adventure.”
Breaking down barriers to travel
Our report with Expedia Group looks to support travel providers to understand why disability inclusion matters to the industry whilst celebrating and learning from providers already striving to be more inclusive through their innovative practices.