Kilwa Port spices tourism boom

TANZANIA Ports Authority (TPA) has significantly improved service delivery at Kilwa Masoko Port, which has resulted in increased number of tourists in Southern Tanzania.

The refurbished port has been the boon of the southern economy after witnessing an influx of tourists recently, a feat which could be attributed to strategic and deliberate measures by the sixth phase government through the TPA to uplift the terminal.

Just in a space of two weeks, the port has hosted two tourist vessels, Coral Geographer from Australia with 120 tourists on board and Le Jacques – Cartier Ponant from France carrying 125 tourists, as the East African nation continues to enjoy a booming tourism sector.

Mtwara Port Manager, Nobert Kalembwe, speaking on behalf of the TPA Director General, said the Authority was proud of the milestone and vowed to continue working closely with other public and government institutions to ensure efficiency in service delivery.

“Our captain took charge of navigating the ships to and from the port and our facilities were used during the successful handling of the ships,” said Mr Kalembwe.

“The host of these events was the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources and TPA we’re a key stakeholder as we’re mandated with managing and operating the country’s ports,” he added.

Le Jacques – Cartier Ponant Captain C Dupuy hailed the support he received from TPA’s Captain, saying the experience and expertise of TPA staff made their mission a huge success and enabled the tourists to enjoy their time in Tanzania.

Commenting on the latest achievement, a section of stakeholders who graced the reception of the vessels hailed TPA for reviving Kilwa Port which is becoming a preferred tourists’ gateway.

A representative of Inchcape Shipping Services Ltd, Zakaria Urasa, commended the government for the measures it has been taking through the TPA to transform the country’s marine industry, including improving port infrastructures across the country.

He said the government’s commendable efforts have brought massive reforms in port services and efficiency.

Kilwa Port is one of the oldest ports in Tanzania, which serves tourists who visit historic sites found in Kilwa town.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s government is constructing a 260bn/- modern fishing port at Kilwa Kivinje in Lindi Region, with the huge project already underway.

In its third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III), the government has placed much focus on the ‘Blue Economy’ by encouraging sustainable use of the water or ‘blue’ resources.

The plan places emphasis on productive activities that rely on water-based resources, include fishing, offshore prospecting and extraction of oil and gas, tourism, fish farming, aquaculture, shipping and maritime transport, seabed extractive industries, marine biotechnology, bio prospecting and offshore renewable energy.

Further, robust systems of maritime peace and security are key to attracting investment in water-based resources. Therefore, in implementing this plan, the government is putting in place an enabling business and investment environment in order to attract local and foreign investors so as to increase the contribution of this sector in the national economy.

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