A recent report from a study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers International (PwC) indicates that, Tanzania and its immediate neighbour, Kenya, will record major boom in the hospitality industry from the current year, 2018, all the way to 2022.
According to the study titled ‘Hotels outlook: 2018-2022’, Kenya will benefit from a rebound in tourism, new hotels, its growing prominence as an experience destination, infrastructure upgrades, and the expectation of post-election political stability.
“We expect tourist arrivals to Kenya to increase 8.8 percent in 2018, building on the pickup in December 2017. Going forward, assuming a period of relative stability, we expect tourism to Kenya to increase at a 6.9 per cent compound annual rate, rising to 2.06 million in 2022 from 1.47 million in 2017.”
The report stated. Tanzania’s hotel room revenue amounted to US $206 million in 2017, which according to the report, was a decline of 5.5 percent compared to the previous 2016 record and this was ‘due to a slight drop in the number of guest nights.’
However, the report paints a rosy picture of the economy, projecting a growth of 10.2 percent for 2018 when the hospitality industry in the country is to once more escalate to even higher levels. Tanzania gets around 1.5 million visitors in a year.
The country’s tourism industry is however concentrated in the Northern Zone Circuit pivoted in Arusha, whose travel industry radius covers Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks.
The Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC Southern Africa, Mr Pietro Calicchio, stated that tourism to the African continent has proven to be resilient in the face of economic and political uncertainty, impacts of droughts and other regulatory changes.
“The hotels and tourism sectors in each of the countries in our report are all showing signs of continued growth over the forecast period. Tourism remains an important part of each economy. However, the smallest change or disruption can have a fundamental impact on the future growth of each market,” a statement from PWC reads.
Travel experts in Arusha are pointing out that Tanzania is in an even better position to fill its hotels to capacity because many residents from neighbouring countries of Kenya and Burundi like to tour the country.
The Chairperson for the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr Willy Chambulo, revealed recently that over 500,000 regular visitors to Tanzania are people from Mozambique, Bujumbura and Nairobi.
Mr Chambulo, who also runs a tour company and variety of tourist hotels, explained that out of the average 1.5 million tourists coming to Tanzania on annual basis, 535,870 are people coming from countries within the African continent itself.
“Kenya, as it seems, leads the pack by bringing here 198,000 leisure visitors, while Burundi follows with 48,210 tourists and Mozambique contributing around 45,000 visitors,” he said, adding: “As it happens, Kenya, with nearly 200,000 Tanzania-bound tourists, tops the list among countries that bring more visitors here, beating even the United States of America (USA) which sends here around 110,000 tourists every year.