Dar island records big number of tourists

DAR ES SALAAM: THE country’s marine tourism, as alternative to popular wildlife tourism, has continued to lure more tourists following the recent record made by Sinda Island, located in Kigamboni District, Dar es Salaam Region.

On Sunday, the Island hosted a total of 133 tourists, the biggest number it has ever recorded before. In a statement to the media, Tanzania Marine Parks and Reserves Unit (MPRU) Senior Marine Conservation Warden, Catherine Msina revealed that the visit was the outcome of numerous initiatives to promote the nation’s marine tourism.

“This is the result of the good work done by President Samia Suluhu Hassan in an effort to improve tourism in the country following her decision to feature the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary, and today, the 133 tourists have arrived here,” she said.

She added, “There are beautiful corals, stunning beaches, sand, and beautiful water for swimming, but there are also champagne-shaped baobab trees that have become more attractive for tourists.” Ms Msina went on to say that since Sinda Island has never had so many visitors, they anticipate seeing an increase in the number in the future.

Mentioning the prices of sightseeing on the island, she said, it is only 11,000/- for a Tanzanian, and there are boating centres at Mikadi and Kipepeo Beaches at a cost of almost 20,000/- only for round trip.

According to her, the tourists have come with the French-based international cruise ship, from Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara ruins in Lindi and after Sinda Island they will head to Zanzibar before returning to their home countries.

Furthermore, she disclosed that the majority of the 133 visitors are from France, Canada, the United States, and other countries.

For his part, Zacharia Urasssa, a representative of a maritime transport companies in the country, echoed that the royal tour documentary has played a crucial role in the influx of tourists to Tanzania.

“These people, who have arrived today are as a result of the efforts that are ongoing with the guidance of President Samia Suluhu Hassan,” he said.

He added that standard infrastructural, lodging, and human resource arrangements have been made for visitors from all over the world to reassure them of the nation’s resolute intention to welcome them.

He clarified, “We are promoting cruise ships as another tourism product because they can increase the number of visitors arriving in our country from different countries.” 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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