Five million tourists target within reach, PM asserts

PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa on Wednesday exuded confidence that the five million tourists target was still within reach, as Tanzania explores other tourism products.

The Premier hinted that the country was banking on Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions (MICE) tourism as an alternative way of realising the envisioned target.

Mr Majaliwa who was addressing delegates gathered at the 65th United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Regional Commission for Africa here yesterday, said Tanzania was prepared to host international meetings as it sets it sights to attain the 6 billion US dollars (about 14tri/-) in tourism revenue, which assumes the influx of five million tourists annually, come 2025.

“Tanzania has the prerequisite venues and platforms to host international conferences and other events and it is fair to say that the target is still attainable,” said the PM.

This was in line with the third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III of 2020/2021 to 2025/2026), among other things, it aspires to promote is new tourism products development and diversification for sustainable growth and promote the southern tourist circuit as an alternative to other circuits through the REGROW initiative, according to Mr Majaliwa.

To promote sector competitiveness and linkages, the FYDP III is prioritising the development and implementation of clear tourism legal and regulatory frameworks and strengthening public-private dialogue and collaboration.

“We are now looking beyond wildlife tourism and MICE will be among priorities,” the PM explained.

The Premier appealed to the international community to continue entrusting Tanzania with major events, saying the country was revered as a haven of peace, since its Independence.

MICE industry shares several common characteristics with hospitality service sectors, such as inseparability of production and consumption, perishability, and seasonality.

Tourism accounts for more than 17 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 25 per cent of foreign earnings. The sector possesses significant potential to contribute to the national economy and foreign receipts on account of the unique natural attractions present in the country relative to elsewhere on the continent.

The tourist attractions present in the country include national parks and game reserves, plants, mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and coastal areas.

UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili on his part reserved praise to the government for promoting tourism and hosting the high-profile meeting.

“You’ve shown to the world how African tourism is united and ready for the future,” he said.

Mr Pololikashvili, however, urged African countries to start backing the tourism industry on all fronts.

He called upon the delegates to make tourism an all-inclusive sector to women and youth.

Tanzania targets an increase in income from the sector to notch 6 billion US dollars (about 14tri/-) from 5,000,000 tourists come 2025, up from the current 1,527,230 arrivals and an income of 2.6 billion US dollars (about 5tri/-).

According to target indicators for the tourism sector, by 2025/26 real growth rate is projected to rise from the current 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent.

The plan envisages an average number of nights to be spent by a tourist to go up from 13 to 14, while average expenditure per tourist per day (non-package/package) (US) will increase from the current 216/379 to 326/455 in 2025/26.

The sector is envisaged to employ a total of 1,750,000 from the current 1,500,000, the share of foreign exchange earnings in percentage will rise to 27 from the current 25.

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