THERE should be in place a comprehensive national programme to enable Tanzanians at tender ages to visit tourist attractions and later become future domestic tourists.
That was said here yesterday by Arusha-based Impala Hotel Group Managing Director, Mr Randle Melleo Mrema in an exclusive interview with the ‘Daily News’ adding that a future successful tourist industry depends on current internal visitors.
In the course, he called upon Tanzanians to cultivate a strong culture of visiting local tourist attractions in order to become ambassadors of the country’s tourist attractions when they meet foreigners.
The Managing Director noted that domestic and internal tourism would increase public revenue and generate jobs.
In the last three years investment in the hospitality industry has been enormous, although, it has not been corresponding with efforts being made to promote tourism, hence an appeal to various stakeholders to chip in.
However, the tourism sector has fared well during the period, according to Mr Mrema proving right the tourism ministry’s slogan of “Tanzania Unforgettable”.
Expounding, he suggested that in order to realise the idea of having a strong local tourism national programme, it should be developed and implemented seriously.
The Managing Director noted that to start with, young children in Primary and lower Schools should be encouraged to visit sites in company of their parents and teachers, which in a way would make them widely know many parts of country.
Children, he argued, would internalise the habit of visiting tourist attractions and when they grow up they will also extend the culture to their children as future generations.
In a related development, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) also calls for concerted efforts to promote simultaneously agriculture and tourism sectors in Tanzania.
In its 2015 report entitled ‘enhancing linkages between tourism and sustainable agriculture sectors in the United Republic of Tanzania’; UNCTAD describes the two sectors as important contributors in the development of the local economy.
“Many developing nations that are now experiencing rapid tourism growth have agrarian societies and tourism being their first or second source of export earnings… With tourism growing rapidly in the United Republic of Tanzania, there is an opportunity to integrate pro-poor strategies into the international tourism agenda.”
At the moment the tourism sector contributes over 10 per cent to the national economy and employment in comparison to agriculture that contributes 69 per cent.
Mr Mrema said that Tanzania is the second country in the world with incredible tourist attractions and urged the nationals to frequently visit the tourists’ sites.