Dar Es Salaam — Tanzania forecasts it will receive one million tourists by next year (2011) and generate about US$1.7 billion if all strategies to attract tourists succeed as planned. This is a rise from 2009 when the country earned $1.2 billion from 714,367 visitors.
Speaking to the East African Business Week in Dar es Salaam last week, the Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Dr Aloyce Nzuki said that, for this year, his board will continue to promote sustainable tourism domestically and internationally.
“Due to our tourism’s strategic campaigns we have set, we anticipate to receives about one million tourists which will enable the country to generate about $1.7 billion,” said Dr Nzuki “We look forward to continuing the momentum started in the United States, which remains our number one tourism market,” he said.
TTB campaign to promote tourism in India has begun to bear fruits. About 1,000 tourists from India are expected to visit Tanzania early next year after a tourism promotion campaign conducted by India tour operators recently.
Jilesh Babla, Director of Akqua Tourism and Destinations Private Limited based in India, said the tourists have already confirmed with his company on their planned visit. He said among them, 80 plan to come in February next year, while the remaining are expected to make their tour in July 2011.
“Apart from that, as tour operators, I am currently negotiating for another group of 300 tourists who will spend two nights in Zanzibar,” said Babla. In India he has managed to get the tourists after carrying out a promotional campaign in the sub-continent to convince people to tour the unique beauty of Tanzania.
Babla is in Tanzania where ne has been touring different tourist sites and is also looking for the possibility of working together with TTB and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to market the East African Community tourist attractions in various parts of the world. “The idea was to bring tour operators, agencies and the media from India to Tanzania and the EAC region in general to see what the region
has to offer and to interact with counterparts, and to better understanding the overall market potentials,” he said. However, as a result of the ripple effects of the global economic slump, TTB has trimmed its 2010 tourism estimates. TTB’s Senior Public Relations Officer, Geoffrey Tengeneza said recently in Arusha that due the global crunch, Tanzania expects around 800, 000 visitors, earning nearly $1.4 billion.
Tanzania’s major sources of tourists have been Britain, Germany, USA, Italy, France, Spain, and the Scandinavian countries, and receives a sizeable number of tourists from South Africa and Kenya.
TTB is now strategizing on enticing tourists from Russia, Czech Republic, Poland as well China, Australia and even other African countries, which have not been hit as hard by the global financial crisis.
The tourism sector employs around 200,000 Tanzanians directly and accounts for around a 25% of the country’s foreign exchange inflows and contributes 17.2% to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Tourists come to Tanzania to enjoy the beaches on its Indian Ocean coastline and the Zanzibar island archipelago, the country’s 15 national parks and 31 game reserves such as the Selous game reserve, Ruaha and Katavi in the southeast and the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, Tarangire and Mt Kilimanjaro in the north, among others.