BOOMING TOURISM: 240 Israelis jet in Dar

TANZANIA’S target of increas- ing the number of tourists to five million come 2025 is slowly but surely becoming a reality as the country continues to record an increase in number.

The development fol- lows the arrival of more than 240 tourists in the country on Thursday who are scheduled to visit Tarangire , Serengeti na- tional parks and Ngorong- oro conservation area.

As tourists continue to choose Tanzania as their best tourism destination, the latest report by the National Bureau of Statis- tics (NBS) indicates that Tanzania has recorded an increase of 48.8 per cent in tourist arrivals between January and February this year compared to the num- ber of visitors recorded in the same period in 2022.

Tanzania targets an in- crease in income from the sector to notch 6 billion US dollars (about 14tri/) from 5 million tourists come 2025, up from the current 1,527,230 arrivals and an income of 2.6 billion US dollars (about 5tri/-).

Damasi Mfugale, the Director General of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), told the’Sunday News’ on Saturday that, the visitors plan to stay for eight days and visit the national parks.

The Head of Government Communications in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, John Mapepele, said tourists from Israel will also visit Zanzibar to see the attractions. Mr Mapepele said the tourists have come for the Easter break and will use the opportunity to visit various tourist destinations, including cultural ones.

In addition, he said the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mohamed Mchengerwa, has also encouraged Tanzanians to visit various tourist attractions, especially during the Easter and Eid celebrations.

He said Mchengerwa has asked Tanzanians to realise that their country is blessed with good attractions for people to visit and see the heritage and wealth that the country is endowed with.

“By doing this, Tanzanians will cultivate a culture of respecting and loving their own resources, but more crucially, they will be boosting the economy of the nation by going on domestic vacations.

Compared to other places in the world, the costs to visit these areas are minimal,” he noted.

According to Mapepele, Mchengerwa calls on Tanzanians to understand that the ministry, working with Wildlife Authority (TAWA), had previously delivered a tourist glass boat which equipped with a special lens that allowed individuals who couldn’t swim to see a variety of aquatic wildlife.

He stated that in order to ensure that the effort is ben- eficial for both present and future generations, government officials from all the institutions under the ministry should collaborate with the locals who live close to the protected regions.

In another step, Mr Mapepele said that with the aim of expanding tourism attractions in various parts of the country, the government has moved two lions (Lucia and Rihana) from Arusha to the Ruhila wildlife park located in Songea in Ruvuma Region under TAWA.

National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) Acting Director of Economic Statistics, Daniel Msolwa, said on Friday that between January and February this year, the country received 290,896 tourists, equivalent to 48.8 per cent, compared to the 195,483 visitors who entered the country last year.

He said that out of the number, a total of 114,169 visitors, or 32 per cent, en- tered the country through Zanzibar.

Mr Msolwa said that the ever-increasing number of international visitors is at- tributed to various factors, including the lifting of Co- vid-19 lockdown by most countries and the continued government’s effort to promote tourism attractions within and outside the country with Royal Tour documentary playing a major contributing role.

Msolwa said that the 263,934 international visitors, equivalent to 90.7 per cent visited Tanzania for leisure and holidays, while 16,307 visitors, equivalent to 5.6 per cent came to visit their friends and relatives.

“Others were visitors in transit to other countries who were 6,035, equivalent to 2.1 per cent and 3,418 business visitors, equivalent to 1.2 per cent” he said.

He noted that the top six sources of Tanzania’s tourism market from outside Africa were France with the highest number of 25,837, followed by Italy (18,556), the United States of America (16,567), Germany (15,705), Poland (12,369), and the United Kingdom (10,657).

“The top six source mar- kets from Africa were Kenya (29,615), Burundi (16,832), Rwanda (7,627), Malawi (6,563), Uganda (6,511), and South Africa (5,196),” he said. In addition, Msolwa said that in 2021, Tanzania received 922,692 tourists who brought the nation an income of 3,177.7 US dollars, while in 2022; a total of 1,454,920 tourists entered the country and brought in a total of 4,776.5 million US dollars.

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