Tanzania Plans Public Private Tourism Partnership
Tanzania’s government is engaging tour operators over possible Public-Private- Partnership (PPP), as it seeks to open up the Southern tourism circuit for travel.
The Governor of Iringa, the designated Southern tourism circuit hub, Mr Ally Hapi led the government mission to meet the members of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) at the weekend in northern circuit capital of Arusha to deliberate on the best PPPs as part of the strategy to stimulate tourism in the new area.
“My key mission here is to discuss with you (tour operators) to form a partnership with the government to unlock the Southern tourism circuit potential for travel,” Mr. Hapi told the gathering at Four Points By Sheraton, The Arusha Hotel.
He implored the key players in the tourism and hospitality industry to invest in Iringa in accommodation, pledging to ease the process of acquiring land, building permits, and other crucial supports.
Mr. Hapi, one of few Youthful Regional Commissioners under President’s John Magufuli regime said Southern circuit is now accessible through roads and air.
“The Air Tanzania Corporation, a national carrier, has since mid-2019, introduced a three-times scheduled flight from Dar Es Salaam to Iringa to offer holidaymakers and business community a hassle-free trips in the area” Mr. Hapi noted, adding that plans are underway for the Iringa airport to be expanded to accommodate major planes in the new potential tourism area.
This comes hardly nine months since the TATO deployed a delegation to Iringa under its Vice-Chairman, Mr. Henry Kimambo to identify new potential members in its effort to establish a chapter in the area to cater for the entire Southern circuit, thanks to USAID PROTECT Project for building the capacity of an umbrella organization with over 300 members, for it to become an efficient advocacy agency for the tourism industry.
John Corse, the TATO board member urged the Government to invest heavily in terms of branding the major attractions available within the Southern circuit, particularly Ruaha National park.
“You need to promote Ruaha through the world-renowned Serengeti national park. You can make documentaries and use media to promote the attractions available in the Southern circuit,” Mr.Corse told the government delegation.
It is understood; the Fifth Government under President Dr. John Pombe Magufuli is working overtime to put up hardware infrastructures as it seeks to unleash the full economic potential of the area.
Impressed by the government move to designate Iringa as the Southern circuit hub, TATO’s CEO, Mr. Sirili Akko said: “We are keen to replicate the best practices from the northern tourism circuit to Southern shred”
This implies that the 36-year-old advocacy agency for a multi-billion dollar industry, with its base in northern safari capital of Arusha, will soon have a liaison office in Iringa to take care of its Southern circuit members.
The southern circuit formed by several national parks. The national parks namely Mikumi, Udzungwa, Kitulo Ruaha, as well as Selous Game Reserve, have fewer visitors and give the feeling of being all alone.
Activities include game drives in open vehicles, boat safaris, and walking safaris. These safaris include flights between the parks.
Tanzania’s earnings from tourism jumped 7.13 percent in 2018, helped by an increase in arrivals from foreign visitors, the government has said.
Tourism is the main source of hard currency in Tanzania, best known for its beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Revenues from tourism fetched $2.43 billion for the year, up from $2.19 billion in 2017, Prime Minister, Mr. Kassim Majaliwa said in a presentation to parliament.
Tourist arrivals totaled 1.49 million in 2018, compared with 1.33 million a year ago, Majaliwa said.
President John Magufuli’s government said it wants to bring in 2 million visitors in 2020.