BTSA (Backpacker Tourism South Africa) now Backpacking South Africa(BSA) was formed in 1998 as a non-profit organisation with the following objectives :
i) TO MARKET SOUTH AFRICA GLOBALLY AS A PREFERRED BACKPACKER DESTINATION, BY OFFERING DISTINCTIVE, WORLD-CLASS BACKPACKER EXPERIENCES WITHIN A UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT.
ii) TO WORK TOWARDS THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PROFESSIONAL BACKPACKER TOURISM INDUSTRY BASED UPON ACCREDITATION AND GUIDELINES.
iii) TO DEVELOP SOUTH AFRICA’S DOMESTIC TOURISM MARKET WITHIN THE BACKPACKER TOURISM INDUSTRY.
iv) TO RAISE AWARENESS AND CONSCIOUSNESS IN SOUTH AFRICA AND GLOBALLY OF THE IMPORTANCE OF SOUTH AFRICA AS A BACKPACKER DESTINATION.
v) TO IMPROVE THE PUBLIC PERCEPTION OF BACKPACKERS AND THEREBY ELIMINATE THE STIGMA ASSOCIATED WITH BACKPACKERS AS ITINERANT WANDERERS.
vi) TO RAISE FUNDS AND/OR OBTAIN FUNDING TO ACHIEVE THE AFOREMENTIONED OBJECTS.
It was established as a trust organization which demands good corporate governance. The expressed purpose is ensuring that tourists who visit the country as backpackers or independent travellers, can be assured that there is a local organization, that is interested in making their stay the most enjoyable in the world.
Most South African hostels and other service operators in the region are independent, but recognize the need for a national body, that is looking after the needs of the visitors to South Africa.
All members have undertaken to abide by basic standards and work towards the common good of both the traveller and industry.