The Hospitality and Tourism Association of Botswana (HATAB) exists to promote, encourage and police excellence in hospitality and tourism in Botswana. It is HATAB's role to ensure that all visitors, both from within and from outside Botswana, enjoy consistently high standards of service from the entire hospitality and tourism industry.
The Association is an umbrella organization representing all sectors of the industry. Privately established and funded, it is the governing body for all its members. In the interests of service excellence it provides and enforces codes of conduct for its members, and it promotes the industry by consistent communication with tourists, locals, and especially with the media.
It is a non-profit organization and it owes its existence to the fact that the members themselves recognize the importance of high standards at every level of the industry.
HATAB was formed in 1982 and the voluntary membership now includes more than 40% of all registered and operating tourism enterprises in the country. These members benefit in many ways; through HATAB they police themselves, and also have a voice that lobbies Government and other key stakeholders, to create an enabling environment for hospitality and tourism enterprises to thrive and prosper.
To keep members informed the Association publishes a Quarterly Review and holds an Annual General Meeting when the Chairman reviews the developments of the past year and considers what the future holds. On a day-to-day basis the affairs of the Association are run by a Secretariat under a Chief Executive Officer who reports to the Executive Committee. This committee is made up of 12 men and women, each elected from a different HATAB sector.
Together these sectors virtually make up the entire industry: hotels, restaurants, air services, air charter, mobile safaris, lodges and camps, tour operators, travel agencies, and hunting concessions. Thus HATAB essentially groups the private enterprise side of the industry, but it works closely with government through the Ministry of Tourism and shares the same vision for the future. It also takes on as a special interest the concept of community based tourism ventures, working with the Non-Governmental organisation that represents Community Based Natural Resource Management (BOCOBONET).
Tourism is a critical contributor to the Botswana economy, and HATAB is an important component of that industry. It is the Association's vision that all visitors should go back home absolutely delighted with the experience of our people, of our hotels and restaurants, camps and safari lodges, of our buses and aeroplanes, of our taxis and trains, and of our vast natural resources.
They should be so positively and pleasantly impressed with the way in which private enterprise is managing its share of those resources that they wish to return, and can confidently recommend the country to their friends. In this way the industry will grow, and only in this way can Botswana rise to be the internationally preferred destination for business and leisure tourism that it has the potential to be.
HATAB is good for Botswana.