All Members of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (hereinafter referred to as Members) shall comply with the Association’s Code of Conduct as hereunder:
1.1 To ensure that the customers receive the best possible service from Members.
1.2 To maintain and enhance the reputation, standing and good name of the Association and its Membership.
1.3 To encourage the continuous growth and development of the tourism industry consistently with the above aims.
2.1 This code is designed to regulate any activities of Members between themselves and members of the public; between themselves and both non-members and member Principals; between themselves and their fellow Members and between themselves and other travel concerns.
2.2 This code recognises and embodies the relevant parts of all acts of Parliament and Government regulations that relate to the travel industry as well as the codes and regulations of recognised organisations or associations such as the Advertising Standards Authority, which shall regulate the standards and practices of Members in relation to advertising.
2.3 This code recognises the necessity for enforcement of its standards and practices and embodies measures and procedures by which Members can uphold observance of the Code under the authority of the National Executive Committee of the Association
3.1 Standard of Service
(i) Members shall maintain a high standard in serving the public and shall comply with all relevant statutory requirements.
(ii) Members shall make every effort to ensure that accurate information is provided to enable clients to exercise an informed judgment in making their choice of facilities.
(i) No advertisement, document, statement or other publication, whether in writing or otherwise, shall contain anything that is likely to mislead the public.
3.3 Alterations to, or cancellation of, tours or travel arrangements by members
(i) When alterations are made to travel arrangements for which bookings have already been accepted, Members shall inform their clients immediately as they are advised of the situation by a Principal, or another travel concern and act as intermediaries between such Principals and their clients in any subsequent negotiations.
(ii) A member shall not cancel a tour or travel arrangements after the date when payment of the balance of the price becomes due unless it is necessary to do as a result of hostilities, political unrest or other circumstances amounting to force majeure, or unless the client defaults in payment of such balance.
(iii) If a member has to cancel a tour or travel arrangements as the result of circumstances amounting to a force majeure, he shall inform agents and direct clients without delay and shall offer clients the choice of an alternative tour or travel arrangements, at least comparable in standard, if available, or alternatively a prompt and full refund of all money paid less reasonable expenses.
(iv) Should material alterations become necessary to a tour or travel arrangement for which bookings have already been made, the Member concerned shall inform clients without delay and shall offer such clients the choice of either accepting the alteration, which must be of comparable standard, or of receiving a prompt and full refund of all money paid less reasonable expenses when the alteration is due to circumstances amounting to force majeure.
3.4 Cancellation by clients
(i) A Member shall clearly state in his booking conditions the amount of the cancellation fees which the client shall be liable to incur, as well as the terms and conditions under which the client shall be liable to incur such fees.
(i) Complaints shall be dealt with promptly and efficiently and in the event of a dispute with a client, every effort shall be made to settle the matter amicably and as quickly as possible. Where complaints are of such a nature that reference to a Principal is necessary, a Member shall use his best endeavour, acting as intermediary, to bring about a satisfactory conclusion.
3.6 Transactions and correspondence
(i) Transactions with clients shall be treated as confidential and correspondence shall be dealt with promptly.
4.1 Members shall give a full service to the Principals they represent and shall conform to all lawful and reasonable instructions issued to them as agents of such Principals.
4.2 Member shall always carry out contractual obligations in an honourable manner and observe the rules, regulations and conditions of business of Principals.
4.3 Members and their staff shall make themselves conversant with the tariffs, rules and regulations of the Principals with whom they have dealings and visa versa.
4.4 Members should accept or release accommodation and other reserved services as quickly as possible and within the periods stipulated by the Principal.
4.5 Members shall endeavour always to adhere to truthful statements and to good taste when called upon to express opinions of any other travel organisation.
4.6 Members will always settle supplier’s accounts promptly and within the period specified of payments becoming due.
4.7 Whenever a complaint or grievance by a client involves any Principal, Members will give the Principal concerned every opportunity to make a full investigation before taking any action against the Principal or seeking to publicise the grievance.
5.1 Members shall deal fairly with one another and shall not damage the reputation of, nor disparage the business practices of or services offered by fellow members.
5.2 Members providing tourism transport services will not operate any services unless fully authorised to do so and unless licences for the conveyance of tourists, issued by the Operating Licence Board are held.
5.3 Members will not use the services of transport operators who do not have the necessary licences to operate tourist services requiring the authority of the Operating Licence Board
5.4 Members shall not allow non-licensed companies nor individuals to utilise their licences with the object of circumventing the Operating Licence Board regulations.
6.1 Any Member becoming aware of unethical practices on the part of fellow Members should advise the National Executive Committee of SATSA, providing full information and evidence of the alleged malpractices.
6.2 In the event of an infringement of this Code of Conduct, all facts pertaining to the alleged infringement will be fully examined by the Association’s National Executive Committee.
6.3 The Member against whom an allegation has been made shall provide, at the request of the National Executive Committee, such further information or documentation as may be required within such period as may be specified.
6.4 The National Executive Committee shall, before reaching any final conclusions, give the Member concerned the opportunity of making representations either personally or in writing in cases where disciplinary action if imposed can result in a reprimand and, or, fine or expulsion.
6.5 The National Executive Committee’s decision in regard to a reprimand, fine or expulsion shall be taken in terms of the Constitution and shall be binding on the Member concerned.
7.1 Members shall familiarise themselves and their staff with the provisions of this Code of Conduct.
7.2 Members shall observe not only the letter but also the spirit of the Code of Conduct and its ethics and ideals thus giving true significance to the aims and objectives of the Association.
7.3 All advertising material and brochures produced by Members must indicate membership of the Association and carry the SATSA logo. Members must also display the SATSA insignia in a prominent position in their business premises.