Lake Zone Cultural, Tourism Festival kicks off

DAR ES SALAAM: THE Lake Zone International Cultural and Tourism Festival began in Bariadi District, Simiyu Region, yesterday.

It made a significant impact, as the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism affirmed its commitment to investing in cultural tourism to promote Tanzanian culture further.

Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dunstan Kitandula, issued the announcement during launching of the festival organised by Kilimanjaro One Travel and Tours.

The event, running from July 5 to 7 at Bariadi CCM grounds, was attended by the deputy minister, alongside Bariadi District Commissioner, Simon Simalenga and other dignitaries.

Kitandula emphasised that the ministry fully supports such festivals, which blend culture and tourism, highlighting the unique cultural heritage of Simiyu residents that remains largely undiscovered by tourists.

“Our definition of tourism includes Tanzanians from all corners of the country, not just international visitors,” Kitandula stated, underscoring the importance of collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports to promote Simiyu’s cultural offerings effectively.

He noted the region’s numerous tourist attractions and encouraged festival participants to explore them during their visit.

Christina Jengo, the Executive Director of Kilimanjaro One Travel and Tours, anticipated over 7,000 participants across the threeday festival, featuring diverse cultural performances, including dances by Galu and Gika groups, traditional ceremonies involving snakes and hyenas, trade exhibitions and displays of traditional tools and medicines.

Jengo expressed gratitude to sponsor such as NMB Bank, Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB), People’s Bank of Zanzibar (PBZ), Zanzibar Insurance Corporation (ZIC), Z&M General Traders, Widescope Enterprises Limited and Carehealth and Hospitality Services, believing their support would pave the way for future editions of the annual festival.

Nyambeho Magesa, representing the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Sports, commended Kilimanjaro One Travel and Tours for organising the festival in line with President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s initiative to host festivals in every region.

He affirmed the ministry’s commitment to collaborating with Kilimanjaro One Travel and Tours and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism to enhance cultural tourism initiatives.

The festival’s first day featured performances that captivated hundreds of Bariadi residents, with the culmination expected on Saba Saba Day (July 7).

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