DAR ES SALAAM , Tanzania (eTN) – Banking on the rising number of outbound Indian travelers, Tanzania is looking close travel ties with India, at least to woo few Indians traveling to Africa.
In making a success story, Tanzanian Tourism Minister Shamsa Mwangunga said the two partner countries are looking at best and closer ties that would foster tourism and travel trade through various linkages.
She said India and Tanzania are looking up to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that would help the two countries share tourist and travel trade resources collaboratively.
The minister, who is at her final touch of a twelve-day official tour in India where she launched the first marketing campaign there, also held a meeting with the Indian Tourism Minister Ambika Soni and together agreed on joint cooperation in tourism development.
Minister Mwangunga campaigned in two-city road-shows, one in New Delhi and the other in Mumbai. She led a delegation which comprised of eleven top level officials from the Tanzanian ministry of Tourism and private tourist business executives.
“We thought it would be useful to sign a memorandum of understanding on joint tourism development. We will now work on this and hopefully, will sign it soon,” Minister Mwangunga said. “Tanzania recognizes India’s booming economy as a means of increasing tourist flow to the African country and I can assure you of an experience you will cherish forever.”
Apart from tourist attractions, Tanzania has a large number of Indian community with a variety of Indian foods to offer to Indian visitors and keep them feeling at home, the minister said.
Tanzania boasts of varied tourist attractions including Mount Kilimanjaro, wildlife parks, the Indian Ocean beaches and the spice Islands of Zanzibar. Cultural tourism has been earmarked as new tourist product available in Tanzania.
According to last year’s statistics, Tanzania has attracted over 800,000 tourists, out of them, 15,000 were Indians.
Tanzania Tourist Board managing director Peter Mwenguo said Tanzania’s diverse tourism products including adventure tourism through game viewing, trekking, deep sea fishing, snorkeling and scuba diving, coupled with cultural tourism would be the best options for Indian tourists.
During the deliberation in New Delhi, Minister Mwangunga sought India’s help in developing the hospitality sector including training of manpower.
“Tanzania enjoys rich cultural bondage with India which need to be exploited by exchanging ideas and policies to promote tourism,” she said.
She urged India to explore the possibility of restoring direct commercial flights between India and Tanzania. At the moment, Air India, flies to Tanzania via Kenya. Earlier, it used to fly directly to Tanzania.
Soni said signing of an MoU between the two countries in the tourism sector would facilitate cooperation. Tanzania is home to about a million Indian Diaspora, most of them involved in tourism with success stories.
The Indians in Tanzania traveled to East Africa about 150 years ago for business purposes and later their numbers increased when more left their Asian state to work as laborers in railway construction in Africa.
Soni also extended invitation to Tanzanian writers and journalists to visit India for better understanding of his country. Tourism is the leading hard currency earner in Tanzania.
Statistics show that tourism was the leading contributor to creation in Tanzania’s economy.