Hospitality and Tourism Association of Eswatini (HOTAES) began as an Association of Tourism related businesses in 1972 which was then called ‘Hotels and Tourism Association of Swaziland’. HOTAS, (Hotel and Tourism Association of Swaziland) together with the Ministry of Tourism, marketed and represented Eswatini at international travel shows. In the years before Eswatini Tourism Authority existed, members of HOTAS and the Ministry of Tourism would physically build and paint the stands for the shows and promotional events. This always led to a great relationship between the industry and the Ministry of Tourism.
HOTAS and the Ministry of Tourism initiated the creation of the Eswatini Tourism Authority through the Tourism Act of 2001.
Hotels and Tourism Association of Swaziland due to the evolving of the organisation then changed its name to the Hospitality and Tourism Association of Eswatini. The membership was spread right across the economy.
Over the years HOTAES and tourism grew, and many other projects promoting tourism were initiated, an example of this is the Tour Guides course started by HOTAES to educate the tour guides about Eswatini. To date HOTAES has trained over one thousand guides, both LiSwati and regional.
In 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic hit the world and locked down tourism in Eswatini, Eswatini Tourism Authority and HOTAES worked together to draw up the guidelines required to operate tourism business during the pandemic. This allowed Eswatini to be the first country in Africa to be awarded the Travel Safe Stamp.
HOTAES, who now has over one hundred members, applied for technical assistance from a European Union funded project, International Trade Centre (ITC), which is a joint agency of the World Trade Organisation and United Nations. ITC supports and provides technical assistance to Associations and SMEs to assist them to be more competitive in the international market. HOTAES was awarded this technical support.
The European Union then suggested HOTAES apply for assistance from another program; Africa RISE (Reform for Investment and Sustainable Economies) This is a demand-driven technical assistance, promoting business development and improving the investment climate. HOTAES has been awarded this technical assistance too.
Both the technical advice and support that HOTAES will receive from the International Trade Centre and Africa RISE is to develop, and implement, a strategy of sustainable tourism in Eswatini. This will provide many more opportunities that are sustainable for LiSwati.
HOTAES would like to thank the European Union, International Trade Centre, and Africa RISE for the support that we will receive to develop sustainable tourism in Eswatini.