Dear Editor

Readers may be aware that SATSA publishes a list of its members who, for one reason or another, have left the association in the past year. As membership of SATSA vests in a company and not in the person, any change to the ownership of that company, for example, will mean that the company has to resign from SATSA, and the new owners then have to re-apply for membership. This is usually only a formality, but in some cases, the whole structure of the company changes, it becomes, for example, part of another company, and so becomes ineligible for membership under its original name.

In other cases, SATSA will terminate or suspend a membership. This could be because of unpaid fees, failure to submit the credibility documents required, or if a company for any reason ceases to trade. The company has, in such cases, breached SATSA’s rules of membership.

SATSA’s membership continues to grow year on year as more companies see the advantages of SATSA membership. The SATSA logo is respected by travel companies around the world, and is invaluable when tendering for new contracts in a time when there is much anxiety about whether booking with a company in South Africa is perceived to be “safe”.

So much so, that one of our big problems in 2012 had been companies who fraudulently display the SATSA logo on their marketing material and documents, when, in fact, they are not SATSA members at all. Some companies are just openly fraudulent, some trade on past membership (in some cases long past), and some labour under the (convenient) misconception that just by applying to join SATSA, they are automatically able to display the logo.

Other companies who have gone into voluntary liquidation, or just ceased trading, have caused much upset by taking it upon themselves to direct enquiries to SATSA, and promising their ex-clients that “SATSA will pay compensation”. This a total misrepresentation of the SATSA Bonding Scheme, which only kicks in when a company is put into liquidation by an outside party. It would be totally impossible to obtain insurance against a company voluntarily putting itself out of business, for reasons, which are obvious.

This is why we urge the travel trade to be very cautious about companies they enter into commercial business with. However, it is also not possible to insure against deliberate misrepresentation, and that is one of the reasons we ask every SATSA company to complete an annual review.

As well as the admin side of things, SATSA is also very involved in lobbying on behalf of our industry, not just our members, with government at all levels; with insurance companies, with banks and other financial institutions.

We can look forward with hope and anticipation to 2013. Times are still tough, but there are signs that things are very slowly improving. South Africa is still a “dream” destination for many people around the world, and our job is to make it easier for those people to turn a dream into reality, whatever it takes. We have great products, great service and great people in our industry, so we need to work on perceptions.

I salute you all for not only surviving a tough year, but for also building a great foundation for the future. I wish you all a successful New Year.

Michael Tatalias
CEO: Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA)

Congratulations, Michael.
Your letter has been chosen as the winning letter for the January edition. A copy of National Geographic’s ‘Eye of the Leopard’ DVD will be delivered to you with the compliments of Livingstones Supply Co – suppliers of the finest products to the hospitality Industry.


The winning letter published in the Tourism Tattler February 2013 edition will receive a copy of Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s ‘Rhino Rescue’  DVD with the compliments of Livingstones Supply Co – Suppliers of the Finest Products to the Hospitality Industry.

Letters should be sent by 23 January 2013 to [email protected].

This is the intimate story of hope in Africa and it surrounds the up and down tale of rhinos in Botswana. In the 1990s the Botswana Defense Force launched a massive military action to stop poaching and this marked the turning point in rhino conservation there, as they are gathered up as a national effort and secured, then brought back to the wild. It covers new behavior, adventures with lions, hyenas and elephants. It solves one of the great mysteries about rhinos and why they move away from where they are introduced and what they go in search of.

The film is shot in places like Top Gun, with low angles and action sequences. At other times it is a personal story of a man who is determined to see rhinos running free in his country again and steeped in African mythology about how we, like the ancients have a connection to these animals. This heart-warming story is a personal journey and testament to the efforts of humans when we are at our best.

  • A Film by Derek and Beverly Joubert • Running Time: 51 minutes

For more information visit:

Back to top button