Access, Inclusivity and Diversity (AID) in the SATSA context
During the 1990s, SATSA was recognised as one of the first multi-racial tourism organisations in South Africa. Since then SATSA has been actively involved in helping SMEs and emerging businesses in practical and tangible ways. SMEs of all kinds introduce diversity and variety into the sector and ensure our visitors the selection of unique tourism products and services they seek.
Led by SATSA’s Board, CEO and the AID Committee, we follow a dual strategy that focuses on developing & assisting small and emerging businesses to become market ready, and on assisting products to access the tourism value chain.
SATSA is committed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to end poverty, ensure prosperity, and protect the planet. As such, all members are strongly encouraged to do the same.
Our SMEs and emerging members say that the strengths of the association lie in helping them build relationships with larger Tour Operators, DMCs and government by providing credibility and reassuring vendors that the business takes accountability and responsibility seriously because it has joined SATSA.
In the past six years, SATSA has assisted over 420 black-owned SMEs with training, 110 with mentorship, and 200 with market access.
We believe that sustainable transformation can only become evident in SATSA’s membership when grassroots, township, rural and undiscovered urban tourism businesses are given access to information and resources needed to develop their businesses to operate in the main value chain.
One of our aims is to foster a receptive business network that is enthusiastic about working with business owners that have been previously excluded. This goes beyond class and race and extends a hand to reach out to youth, women, LGBTQIA+, and differently-abled people.
Current initiatives range from training, coaching and mentorship to specific market access projects. The latter includes SATSA’s regional growth strategy which we have successfully implemented with a number of provincial stakeholders. It incorporates hosting physical and virtual familiarisation trips which provides exposure to undiscovered products in South Africa’s rural areas, small towns and townships. At the same time, it meets the demand, as stipulated by our overseas trade partners and travellers, for new products and experiences in less-frequented destinations.
Inclusion is key and it starts with lending a helping hand, not a hand-out, and walking the journey with township and rural businesses, SMEs and young entrepreneurs in partnership with public stakeholders and established businesses.
Since its inception more than 50 years ago, SATSA has stood as the mark of credibility in tourism. This is achieved by strict due diligence on registration and an annual basis, ensuring that each member is fully compliant with the legal requirements set by Government. Two additional elements are business solvency and the required insurance – both critical to maintaining the credible reputation of all SATSA members.
SATSA assists businesses of all sizes with understanding the range of requirements and assisting them to comply where necessary.
To make SATSA more accessible, a Small Business Tier was introduced in 2014 (initially called Introductory Tier) with much success. We have taken a further step recently by introducing two new tiers, Growth Affiliate and Emerging Association Membership.
SATSA stands for the inclusion of all sexes, sexual orientations, races, cultures, geographical locations and sizes of business into its membership to reflect South Africa’s diversity.
Part of our work here is to offer training to members on becoming LGBTQA++ and Halaal friendly.
SATSA also includes in its Code of Conduct, a clause on Anti-Harassment and Discrimination and works with National Tourism Authorities to implement this at all levels of the industry.
How can you AID?
Now that you know what SATSA AID is about; join the movement towards sustainable change!
Whilst we are continuously developing and enhancing plans, we call on all members to choose to do business with suppliers and products owned by individuals that are excluded from the main value chain. If you make a connection with an AID-eligible business that is not yet compliant, you can recommend them as a Growth Affiliate or Emerging Association Member.
For further information or discussion, you are welcome to contact SATSA’s COO, Hannelie du Toit or SATSA’s Co-Vice Chair, Rob Hetem.