TANZANIA has continued to reap big from Royal Tour premiering after a group of tourists aboard Rovos Rail, the most luxurious tourist train, arrived yesterday in the country for tourism expedition.
Though the journey by the tourists is an annual vintage trip, the premiering of the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary last year has embellished the expedition. Aboard the luxurious train were 68 tourists from different countries in the world.
Speaking on Saturday when welcoming the tourists at Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) railway station in Dar es Salaam, Acting Director of Marketing for Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Dr Gladstone Mlay said that the arrival of the tourists from South Africa is the result of the Royal Tour film.
“Today (yesterday) TTB is here at TAZARA to receive 68 tourists from different countries coming from South Africa by Rovos Rail… the arrival of the tourists is the outcome of the film of the Royal Tour starred by President Samia Suluhu Hassan,” Dr Mlay said.
He said the tourists are expected to visit various tourist attractions in both Mainland and Zanzibar, adding that while in the country they will visit Mount Kilimanjaro and other tourist destinations found in the northern tourist circuit.
“They spent 12 days travelling all the way from South Africa to Dar es Salaam… and yesterday (on Friday) they passed through Nyerere National Park formerly known as Selous Game Reserve,” he said.
Expounding on the tourists’ schedule yesterday, Dr Mlay said the tourists will first visit some Dar es Salaam sites, including the National Museum of Tanzania (NMT) and other cultural areas such as Mwenge Woodcarvers Market.
Dr Mlay underscored that the visiting tourists will be under the guidance of TTB throughout the time they will be in the country.
Last year, tourism sector received a big boost from President Samia Suluhu Hassan following her decision to feature in the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary.
This was the first time in Tanzania’s history the Head of State played such a role in a film, as part of efforts to revive the tourism industry that was adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The initial launch of the documentary was done in New York on April 18, 2022 followed by its premiering in Los Angeles on April 21. The documentary was also filmed in Dar es Salaam on April 28 before Zanzibar did the same.
The documentary has had a ripple effect in the tourism sector which earns the country about 2 billion US dollars (about 4.6tri/-) per annum, with tourists coming in droves from all over the world to sample Tanzania’s tourist attractions.
Produced by award-winning American travel journalist, Mr Peter Greenberg, the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary staged President Samia as Mr Greenberg’s tour guide as they crisscrossed the country from Zanzibar to Mount Kilimanjaro and finally to the expanse of Serengeti National Park, among other destinations.
Recent statistics by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show a sharp rise of tourists to 1,175,697 between January and October, last year, compared to 716,741 during the corresponding period 2021.
According to the NBS Director of Economic Statistics, Mr Daniel Masolwa, there was a noticeable increase of 458,956 tourists, which is equivalent to a 64 per cent rise.
The NBS official attributed the increase to the much-publicised Royal Tour documentary and other initiatives by the government.
According to Mr Masolwa, in October 2022 alone the number of tourists who entered the country increased to 141,517, compared to 92,345 visitors in 2021, which is equivalent to a 53.2 per cent increase.
Tanzania envisions to increase the number of tourists to five million per annum by the year 2025 from the current two million backpackers and it also targets to collect 6 billion US dollars (about 13.8tri/-) in revenues from the tourism sector.