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Misses Million Visitor Mark

Tanzania Tourist Board admits to missing 2010 targets

Wolfgang H. Thome, eTN  Aug 18, 2010

(eTN) - Officials of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) have scratched their heads in recent days, when the available half-year figures of arrivals and revenues from tourism to Tanzania suggested that the targets initially set for this year will most likely be missed substantially. Estimates presented last year for 2010 spoke of reaching a million visitors and revenues in excess of US$1.7 billion, but the present trend indicates that the country may now only receive some 800,000 visitors and correspondingly lower revenues than forecasted.

Experts are divided over the reasons for this development, as neighboring Kenya ‚Äď which kicked of a marketing storm last year and early this year around the world ‚Äď already have their eyes set on their best tourism year ever.

Suggestions have been made that the stand taken by the Tanzanian government and delegation at the global CITES meeting earlier in the year in Doha has influenced many would-be travelers, and more so travel and tour agents, to send less visitors to Tanzania to express their disagreement on the proposed large-scale sale of ivory, while other observers have pointed to the hugely controversial planned highway across the Northern Serengeti, which has conservationists from around the world up in arms. The coordinated campaign against this project may well have resulted in revealing and damaging articles and publicity against Tanzania’s government's stand on the planned road and may be just one added cause why less people are visiting Tanzania this year, while tourism generally in the region, in particular in Rwanda and Kenya, is showing a sharp upswing.

Budget constraints for marketing have also been cited by usually well-informed sources from Arusha, who claim that while Kenya and Rwanda in particular, have spent big to reap big, this logic has not apparently been understood in Tanzania as yet, and the present election campaign has also taken the focus off of the sector at a time when it is most needed.

Tanzania Tourist Board admits to missing 2010 targets
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