HAVING opted for no lockdown amid Covid-19 pandemic and eventually opening up skies, Tanzania tourism sector today sees groups of tourists jetting in the country that would follow standard protective measures at all entry points.
That was said here yesterday by Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO) Acting Managing Director, Martin Kinyamagoha, noting further that the tourists are expected to land at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) today afternoon, aboard Ethiopian Airways and will visit several tourist destinations in Arusha and Zanzibar.
The news comes after Tanzania registered low number of Coronavirus cases making beds of the disease’s patients to remain empty in most hospitals, and life resuming to normalcy in all regions of the country.
To reinforce their safety, the KADCO that manages KIA has finalised steps, which include putting in practice all guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, Social Development, Gender, Elders and Children such as social distancing, and having enough sanitisers in several strategic places for them to clean their hands supervised by the staff officials.
Elaborating, Mr Kinyamagoha said they were ready to receive the tourists and ensure their safety while in the country until they would return to their places of origin.
The Acting Managing Director made the revelation while meeting the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamisi Kigwangala and the Deputy Minister of Health, Social Development, Gender, Elders and Children, Dr Godwin Mollel, who were touring the airport ahead of receiving the visitors as the tourists’ high season starts.
In the course, Mr Kinyamagoha showed the minister and his entourage how fully they were prepared in different sections at the airport to receive the visitors, saying: “The tourists will be screened for Coronavirus and if one shows positive signs, one will be taken to a special set up place for care and treatment.
“The tourism starts tomorrow (today) and we are ready to receive our visitors aboard Ethiopian Airways plane landing at 1200hrs. All precautionary measures have been put in place, and equally we shall make sure that they enjoy from the time they land until they would leave, because we have everything intact.”
Commenting, Mr Kigwangala said that the government was well strategised and would ensure all visitors would be safe and enjoy during their stay, adding that people who would relate with them from the airport and tourism companies’ staff should know that Tanzania is safe.
Expounding, he said that the government already has put in place professional practices and guidelines issued by the ministry of health, reinforced by airport, immigration and banks’ staff, which would enhance the visitors’ safety.
“Tanzania is safe, we are here to receive the first batch of tourists with enhanced preventive measures. We thank President John Magufuli for his directives during the horrifying Covid-19 pandemic that we have been able to pass through successfully.
We are strong, safe and we call upon visitors to come and see the unforgettable natural resources and tourism attractions,” added the Minister.
However, Dr Kigwangala noted that after screening the tourists, their histories and records will be documented so that in the near future, they would not bring in the virus or acquire it from the country.
The Minister further said that what now lies ahead is for everyone to work hard and create wealth, which benefits individuals and the nation at large.
Equally, he commended the KADCO management, Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and other stakeholders for efforts they had during the low tourism season, which put in place a conducive environment and ushered in the high season.
For additional security of the visitors, Dr Kigwangala said the government has increased workforce at the KIA, including bringing in soldiers to join the staff.
To advance their work, some of the airport staff including the ones at Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) have gone through a training, besides being taking standard measures witnessed in major international airports.
The reinforcement also included setting up four special ambulances donated by TATO and specially modified by Arusha-based Hanspaul Automechs Limited standby to take care of the tourists in case of any eventuality.
In the tour, the minister and his entourage, who are also medical doctors by profession checked at the vehicles stationed at Njiro Industrial Area for the tourists and expressed, satisfied at their quality.
Shedding more light in the high season and more tourists arriving, Dr Kigwangala said the guidelines would be familiar at all entry points in the country.
“The vehicles- Landcruisers have in place oxygen kits and centres to take care of any ill-feeling tourist set at Arusha City, Serengeti, Seronera and Ngorongoro,” he pointed out.
In the alert, it was noted that the tourists will be treated with high care by top medical doctors, mobile clinics and paramedics standby in case of any emergency at the tourists’ hotspots.
They will also enjoy medical insurance cover such that if one experiences any difficulty, one will be airlifted to special hospitals in an agreement the government is working on with Amref Health and Kilimanjaro SAR.
On his part, Hanspaul Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr Satbir Singh Hanspaul said they carefully designed the vehicles to ensure that their patients remain comfortable during their relocations and do not interact with the drivers.