As we move through this time of closure in order to support the decision to save lives we also look to the social needs for livelihoods, mental health and exercise. With a considered and responsible approach we can accomplish structures that take both into account without risking the other. We can support our Trails and Hiking community by implementing safety protocols and making sure our venues are ready to open.
We have a long history in our industry of supporting one another in a vast and linked community of people who enjoy our trails but and maintain them for future generations to use. This has inspired the creation of some of the most spectacular trails in destinations around the country. This body of people are passionate about the outdoors and we strive to maintain this outdoor and adventure lifestyle of activity.
Each day brings about new challenges and our aim is to remain relevant and current while addressing these short terms needs with knowledge from the past as well as future planning. We are currently faced with the need to lobby for the safe re-opening of our sector with two main considerations: The opening of venues with a set of regulations that follow the Government structures with regard to Protocols. The opening of trails to amateur and professional hikers, trail runners and a variety of sports people to maintain fitness levels and skill.
Considering our near future we have the challenge of dealing with a pandemic that could have a long term impact on our industry while at the same time balancing the need to keep a level head and realising that at the core of what we do is the maintenance and guardianship of our trails and heritage. Our goals therefore are aligned to the maintenance of our livelihoods and the building of infrastructure and support systems around safety and job creation. Goal: Livelihoods, recovery and income stability.
Our strength lies in planning and resilience, with every footfall there is an impact and the bound back that drives us forward. This action underpins our future goals. We are here as a body to create frameworks and means to enable resilience. To plan out our needs in a way that keeps us all informed and up to date with the environment around us. To maximise the effectiveness of the basics through technology and innovation. And lastly to create sustainability and inclusion in our sector and broader Tourism and Events Industry.
With the goals above and the ground under our feet we look to today for the actions needed to carry us into a future where we are prepared and ready to meet the challenges we face. We associate with those around us in order to bring about stronger networks and to learn from one another and build our skillset. It takes many diverse individuals to create and maintain a trail, this is our goal for this body and for future partnerships.
THASA has a core focus on the people who own and operate hiking venues and trails. This group of people have the responsibility of maintaining these spaces as well as the legal requirements that go with this. Owners and managers is this sense are welcome to join.
The people who guide and operate Tours in partnership with these owners have a vital role to play in the promotion and feasible use of venues. We welcome the partnership and members are welcome who can contribute to the holistic overview of the Association.
All those involved in THASA are ultimately hikers and trail users and it is for this reason we have a club structure formation within the organisation. The Hiking and Trail Club is a voluntary club formed as part of the Association body as a space for club members to communicate information and abide by THASA guidelines on safety and trail use.
You are welcome in this space as an amateur, professional, sports person or aspiring amateur hiker or trail runner.
If you participate in any other form of trail use such as Mountain Biking or Horse Riding then please join us an affiliate member so that we can plan the future of trails together with partner companies and Associations.
The South African landscape attracts people from around the world who come to immerse themselves in nature and put their feet on the trails around the country. We lead the way in many aspects on safety and quality of the experience on offer, and these images serve to highlight our drive for quality and professionalism as well as the natural splendour of the world around us.
In the Association we strive to create an equal and inclusive structure that shares the responsibility we all take for our industry. Each of us leads in some way or another depending on our skillset. We have a group of founding directors of the Trail and Hiking Owners and Operators part of the Association as well as a diverse group of founding members. We are a round table in structure with members taking responsibility where needed. Our Chairs stand for 2 year terms non consecutive to allow for growth and new ideas.
The body and the contact person working with THASA
National Chair - Aidan Lawrence - Owner of Wild Lubanzi Backpackers and Trail Lodge, operator for the Hole in the Wall walking Tours.
Trail Chair - Pieter Wessels (Pieta) - Owner of Escarp Adventures
Tour Chair - Frank Dwyer - Owner of Slackpacker SA
Thank you to our partner organisations
SA AIA representing the Adventure Industry
YTSA representing the Youth sector
House of CREW representing Freelance operators
Protocol Council and Protocol Advisory System
The Hiking and Trail Club of South Africa
For hikers, trail runners, trail users and sports people from around the world. This club is our community structure for all those passionate about the outdoors. We will be building a list of venues that club members can access as members with preferential information and trail data. We will also be forming a support structure where we can look at working groups to improve trails and trail access.
Hole in the Wall Hiking, Mncwasa A/A1, Elliotdale District, 5070
Hiking office email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Club members: email@example.com
THASA and YTSA office: +27 (0)82 470 6129
Pieta: +27 (0)82 950 2417
Frank: +27 (0)82 8824388