A few months ahead of FIFA World Cup kick-off in South Africa, Tanzania has launched a campaign that would attract global football fans and sports tourists to visit the country’s premier attractions.
In kicking off the campaign, the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) has organized and invited 28 travel and tourism executives from leading South African tourist companies to visit Tanzania’s key sites to assess the available tourist attractions and services being offered to the foreign visitors.
The senior official of the board’s marketing department, Mr. Amant Macha, said a delegation of South African tour operators were in Tanzania in early February, while the second group was in Tanzania this week. Two other groups composed of travel agents, hotel stakeholders, and tour and airline operators are expected to fly into Tanzania in March.
During their stay in Tanzania, the South Africans took an educational tour in northern Tanzania’s tourist circuit including the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, and Lake Manyara wildlife parks to familiarize them with the wildlife attractions and services offered to tourists while visiting these most tourist-pulling sites in East Africa.
Other than the wildlife parks, the delegation viewed Mount Kilimanjaro and visited Mazimbu and Dakawa areas in Morogoro region to pay an homage tour to witness the places where South African youths took their military and political education to fight against the former apartheid policies in their country.
Mazimbu and Dakawa, about 250 kilometers southwest of the capital city of Dar es Salaam, are the sites where Black South Africans concentrated their forces and took military training to fight back the separatist apartheid politics in their county.
After the visit by South African tourist stakeholders there, the two sites have been earmarked to become historical and tourist sites where South Africans of all races will be going to pay homage visits.
Tanzanian and South African governments are negotiating the best options to make these two places tourist sites.
While in Tanzania, the South African tourist delegation met the minister for natural resources and tourism, Mrs. Shamsa Mwangunga, for discussions.
“All of them enjoyed their stay in Tanzania and experienced the country’s environment in perfect weather conditions,” the TTB official said.
“Tanzania has remained in the hearts of many South Africans as the country gave its moral and material support to South African freedom fighters in the struggle to root out apartheid policy in the country,” he added.
On their side, the South African tourist executives vowed to promote tour packages to Tanzania during the World Cup event by encouraging sports fans and other stakeholders to visit Tanzania and experience its unique attractions including Zanzibar Island, Selous Game Reserve, Kilwa Ruins, and Kondoa Irangi, apart from northern wildlife parks.
Through a joint tourism promotion between Tanzania and South Africa, a sort of a promotional project will be launched just before the World Cup tournaments in June with an aim to market the two countries during and after the World Cup event.
The Tanzania Tourist Board is on its side, looking to attract sports fans and spectators from South Africa to visit key tourist attractive sites in Tanzania during recess periods or before and after the match.
In order for this campaign to succeed, the Tanzania Tourist Board has teamed up with South African Airways (SAA), looking for more seats or added daily flights between Johannesburg and Tanzanian airports so as to ensure that every tourist from South Africa can fly to Tanzania.