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The Role of HATAB

Encouraging quality in Botswana’s hospitality and tourism industry

The Hospitality & 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 outside Botswana, enjoy consistently high standards of service from the entire hospitality and tourism industry.

The association is an umbrella organisation which was privately established and funded in order to represent all sectors of the industry and act as the governing body for all its members. In the interests of excellent service, HATAB provides and enforces codes of conduct for its members. It also promotes the industry through consistent communication with tourists, local people and the media. HATAB is a non-profit organisation and owes its existence to the fact that the members recognise the importance of high standards at every level in the industry.

HATAB was formed in 1982 and the voluntary membership now includes more than 40 per cent of all registered and operating tourism enterprises in the country. These members benefit in many ways. Through HATAB, members can police themselves; have a voice that lobbies the government and other key stakeholders; and have the opportunity to create an environment for hospitality and tourism enterprises to thrive and prosper.

Developments

To keep members informed, the association publishes a quarterly review and holds an annual general meeting where 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 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. HATAB works closely with the private enterprises of the industry and the Ministry of Tourism, to unite the two with the same vision for the future. It also has a special interest in the concept of community based tourism ventures.

Tourism is a critical contributor to Botswana’s economy, and HATAB is an important component of that industry. It is the association’s vision that all visitors should return home delighted with the experience of Botswana’s people, hotels and restaurants, camps and safari lodges, buses and aeroplanes, taxis and trains, and of our vast natural resources.

Visitors should be so impressed with the way private enterprises are managing their share of those resources that they wish to return, and can confidently recommend the country to their friends.

Only in this way will the industry grow, and will Botswana rise to be the internationally preferred destination for business and leisure tourism that it has the potential to be.