Cultural heritage tourism attracts more visitors

TANZANIA: CULTURAL tourism has increasingly attracted tourists, with the heritage sites of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara ruins recording a total of 125 tourists on Monday this week.

This follows the arrival of 102 tourists from England who visited the sites on February 3 this year.

According to a statement issued on Thursday by the Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (TAWA), the tourists came from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Germany, Italy, and Korea. Others are from the United States, Singapore, Spain, Portugal, Russia, and Luxembourg.

The statement further noted that the tourists were transported to the world’s oldest tourism sites by the French exploration vessel Le Champlain.

It attributed the successes to efforts to improve tourism in the country made by President Samia Suluhu Hassan following her decision to feature in the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary.

President Samia’s earnest efforts to boost tourism in the nation when she decided to be featured in the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary are the reason for all of the achievements.

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 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.

In October last year, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released the new number of international arrivals in the country, which shows that in 2023, the number increased to 1,131,286 compared to 900,182 who entered the country in 2022.

The figures indicated that there is an increase of 231,104 visitors, estimated as 25.7per cent, according to NBS Director for Economics and Statistics, Daniel Masolwa. Releasing the Statistics at a media conference at NBS headquarters in Dodoma on Monday, Mr Masolwa noted that the numbers were recorded between January and August 2023.

Mr Masolwa further noted that the number of international arrivals for August increased to 186,030 compared to 158,049 arrivals recorded during the corresponding period in 2022.

This is an equivalent of 17.7per cent. The number of international arrivals who entered the country in August 2023 through Zanzibar was 336,203 and estimated as 29.7per cent of the total arrivals.

Statistics by nationality show that the United States tops in the list of international arrivals from outside Africa with 84,541arrivals, followed by France (72,009), Germany (57,798), United Kingdom (51,505) and Italy 51,056.

Elaborating, he added that for the month of August 2023, majority of arrivals came from Italy (14,986), USA (14,416), France (11,997), UK (9,852) and Germany (9,161). During the period under review, international arrivals from Africa shows that Kenya is leading with 128,753 followed by Burundi (69,505), Zambia (38,394), Rwanda (37,269) and Uganda (28,595).

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.

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