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TATO: Tourist Safety On Decline

Tanzanian tourism wants tough laws to ensure safety of tourists

Nov 24, 2011

The government has been advised to enact tough laws and regulations to ensure safety of tourists which is on the decline, improves.

According to the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), about 99 per cent of cases related to theft, conning and improper handling of tourists which were reported to the police between 2008 and this year were left unattended due to irregularities on the current laws.

TATO Executive Secretary Mustapha Akunaay said on Tuesday the association has blacklisted about 15 tour companies dealing in shoddy business online and make money from tourists.

"If there are no tough laws, the image of the country would be on the line and this has serious repercussion on the economy", he said.

Mr Akunaay said on the sidelines of the workshop to brainstorm on the study on legal framework on safety and security for tourism in Tanzania in Dar es Salaam yesterday that security to tourists is of paramount importance if the sector is to make any headway.

He said that Tanzania still enjoys a good status of top countries with best touristic destinations in the world after Brazil. Speaking earlier during the workshop, a law consultant, Mr Adam Mambi, said that the current laws don't address specifically the safety of tourists.

"Security to tourists is regarded as part of the criminal offences which fall under the general laws", the lawyer working with the Law Reform Commission, said.

For example, he said, the Tourism Act does not clearly show the role of police officers and other law enforces such as park rangers in dealing with security and safety to tourists.

He said the Police Force should emulate efforts by Kenya by establishing a special unit to deal with crimes related to security and safety of tourists. He said that challenge is to review the current laws to cater for the current demand and technology.

The one-day workshop drew participants from different ministries, the Immigration Department in Zanzibar and Mainland. However, the Police Force did not send a representative to the workshop, the organizers said.

Other participants came from the US Embassy and British High Commission and the Law Reform Commission. The participants will deliberate on resolutions at the end of the workshop and send them to the government for further action.

Tanzanian tourism wants tough laws to ensure safety of tourists
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