Hotels Association of Tanzania (HAT) is a non-profit registered organization formed in 2004 and a member of the Tourism Confederation Tanzania (TCT), the tourism apex body that consists of 11 other Tourism Private Sector associations. It originated from Hotels Keepers Association of Tanzania formed in the 1970s.
The Hotels Keepers Association was a bit different given the fact that during those times, tourism was still a public service and many hotels were majority owned by the government. During the mid-late 1990s, the government began to privatise many of its hotels and tourism was quickly expanding to the private sector. The Hotels Association was formed to cater to the changes that came with the private sector playing a major role in tourism. It was also made to cater to the different diverse accommodation properties that were emerging in the market, for example, tented camps etc.
The initial vision at that point like many other private sector associations forming at the time was to have an association that will help private sector navigate this new relationship between them and the public sector in the industry. There were several gaps in the laws and missing institutions therefore, the main objective was to make sure that the private sector had a say in the type of business environment that was being set.
HAT has developed to and promotes and protects the interests of registered accommodation establishments through lobbying and advocating for laws, regulations and processes that will have a positive implication on the private sector, public sector and the Tanzanian economy. The message we try to get across with government is that we are partners and need to work together in creating a viable business environment and to ensure the sustainability of the tourism industry as a whole. HAT with its members have always worked in partnership with our Ministry and its respective authorities, and all other tourism associations and stakeholders to promote, strengthen and protect our industry to be not only financial, socially sustainable but now also environmentally sustainable. Our ultimate objective being, to make Tanzania hospitality industry competitive globally and viable for the investors, employers, employees, local communities, suppliers and the Government.
HAT Key Issues 2019:
- The business environment is the leading issue at the moment and we will continue to champion this agenda, working with other associations when necessary focusing on fair processes from all authorities that affect and engage with the hospitality sector to promote procedures that are sensitive to the dynamics and nature of the hospitality subsector. We also aim to engage with local governments on more localized issues starting with noise pollution.
- Skills Gap: the skills gap continues to be the biggest challenge in our industry, and we shall continue to advocate for programs, projects and resources that focus on addressing this issue, and the current obstacles of foreign national employment in our industry.
- Fair processes – Assistance in following up that processes executed by different government authorities are done in a fair manner and are sensitive to the dynamics and nature of the hospitality subsector.
- Collection of different sub-industry and industry data to evidence our cases and arguments to the government.
- We continue to support and collaborate with other organizations on protecting natural resources given that tourism is synonymous to conservation.