Tourism leads as Tanzania’s key economic sector


(eTN) With a remarkable growth at a steady rate, tourism has been rated Tanzania’s leading economic sector during the past five years.

Tanzanian President Mr. Jakaya Kikwete said in a speech to wind-up his first term in office, that during the five years, tourism scooped the first position as Tanzania’s leading economic sector with more foreign income earnings and high-profile revenue collections from visitors and tourist investments.

Mr. Kikwete said tourism gains increased from US$823.5 million in 2005 up to US$1,198.8 million (US$1.198 billion) in 2008 with positive indications for more tourists to visit Tanzania and increased revenue collection from 2010 ahead.

The Tanzanian president, who made great efforts to develop tourism and participated in several tourism development campaigns during his foreign trips and inside Tanzania, said that his government will be looking ahead to reinforce tourism marketing and promotion campaigns targeting more tourists.
He said in his comments to dissolve the current parliament, that more campaigns were needed to promote and advertise Tanzania in big tourist markets across the world to ensure that more foreign tourists flow in Tanzania.

Though expensive, marketing and promotion of tourism would prove more beneficial to Tanzania while the government continues to encourage more hotel investors and promotion of first-class hotel construction and development of infrastructure like roads and communication service, he said.

Likewise, Tanzania has amended hunting regulations and designed new tourism laws, all aimed to spearhead tourism development and best visitor services in this fast-growing African safari destination. A sizeable number of tourist hotels and lodges sprung up during the past five years in which Mr. Kikwete has been in leadership of Tanzania.

There has been an increase in air access, with many global carriers now flying direct to Tanzania; new luxury hotels on the mainland, which is home to African wildlife and improved infrastructure, including tarmac roads in key safari circuits. Zanzibar beaches on the Indian Ocean have as well attracted almost a quarter a million tourists in recent years.

Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) officials made it clear that improvements seen in this country’s tourism were the outcomes of the diversification of the tourist attractions and the existing allure of Tanzania’s unsurpassed wildlife, seven World Heritage Sites, the cultural richness and friendliness of the Tanzania’s people, miles of beautiful Indian Ocean coastline, and the exotic spice Islands of Zanzibar.

Over the last 10 years, Tanzania has become a stand-alone destination. In past years, many tour operators in Europe and America took Tanzania as an add-on or extension to other countries. Now, there is such a great demand by clients to spend their entire time in Tanzania.