DAR ES SALAAM: THE government has outlined critical measures to support endeavours of securing an income of 6 billion US dollars (around 14tri/-) from five (5) million tourists by the year 2025, key being expanding more products in the sector.
Natural Resources and Tourism Minister Ms Angellah Kairuki pointed at the products geared for massive promotion to hit the mark as beach, cruise ship and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Event management) tourism.
Third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III of 2020/2021 to 2025/2026) and the ruling party CCM Election Manifesto 2020-2025 have set the target for the country to notch an income of 6 billion US dollars (about 14tri/-) from 5,000,000 tourists come 2025
Ms Kairuki disclosed this in Dar es Salaam, yesterday while officiating at the annual Swahili International Tourism Expo (S!TE) 2023, which brought together over 150 exhibitors and 71 international buyers from various countries across the globe.
She cited government commitment to ensure the tourism sector continues to record a progressive growth by ensuring the number of tourists entering the country increases.
She noted that major initiatives taken by the government to promote the country’s tourism are quite vivid, adding that despite devastating impacts of Covid-19, Tanzania’s tourism growth was progressing well.
“The achievements have enabled Tanzania’s tourism sector to contribute 25 per cent of all Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) and 17.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), demonstrating significant contribution in the economy of the country,” she said.
According to her, President Samia Suluhu Hassan herself is taking the lead role, whereby she has participated in the ‘Tanzania Royal Tour’ documentary and a special film known as ‘Unforgettable Tanzania Presidential Tour’ which was recorded recently in collaboration with famous Chinese Actor Jin Dong. The film is expected to be aired in various areas.
“Currently our major role is to increase the number of tourists by promoting and expanding other tourism opportunities, including beach, cruise ship and MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and event management),” said Ms Kairuki.
In the case of MICE, she said the ministry is collaborating with the Arusha International Conference Centre (AICC), Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation for the mega expansion, with envisaged construction of Mount Kilimanjaro Convention Centre at Njiro area.
She said for Dar es Salaam, a 19-acre land has been secured and is on the stage of feasibility study for designing to begin.
As for cruise ship tourism, they are collaborating with the Tanzania Ports Authority (TPA), whereby the authority is currently in the preparatory stage of constructing a special berth for tourist ships to have their own docking area.
She said a strategic plan has been prepared for the development of beaches and for starters they will begin with beaches which are supervised under the ministry, including in Kilwa Kisiwani and Saadani, noting that they have also received advice with regard to Coco Beach.
“We are going to meet with the Dar es Salaam Regional Authority to see the best plan,” she noted.
She added: “As emphasised by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Timothy Mzava, Article 68 of the Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) Manifesto clearly state that come the year 2025, the target is to arrive at 5 million tourists which will accumulate over 6 billion US dollars…our goal is to make it possible.”
Among such initiatives taken by the government is to strengthen infrastructure including the national flag carrier Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) in further improving air transport in the country.
She noted that ATCL has started direct routes to India, China and in neighbouring countries, as the company eyes to expand its routes to other African countries and Europe in the coming year.
Also, the government has continued to improve the investment environment of small chartered flights as they are equally important in the promotion of tourism in the country.
Due to the good business environment, she noted that airlines that had suspended flights in Tanzania and new ones are carrying out routes in the country. Regrow project being implemented in collaboration with the World Bank (WB) to promote tourism in the Southern Highlands Regions is among key initiatives.
“In order to further boost tourism in the country, it’s critical for all key stakeholders to continue promoting all old and new attraction sites available in all parts of Tanzania,” noted the minister.
She called upon the public to make use of business and investment opportunities in tourism, including culture, home stay tourism, erection of big and small hotels and many others which will boost the sector’s development.
She, however, noted that the government will ensure all tourism festivals reach international standards, stressing that the goal is to enable them to be part of global tourism calendars, something which will scale up the number of tourists in the country.
She commended the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) for hosting a very fruitful event, indicating that it has really reflected the recognition they received from World Travellers Awards as a leading tourism board within the African continent.