AN ambitious plan to promote domestic tourism sector was Wednesday launched in Dar es Salaam with the government fully supporting the initiative by the stakeholders including St Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT) and Real PR Solutions among others.
Unveiling the plan in the city, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, dubbed it Domestic Tourism Promotion Initiative (DTPI) and called upon the local communities, especially youth in the vicinities to tap the existing opportunities as sources of income.
The initiative with the theme “Utalii Mpya. Fursa Mpya” is a joint effort between SAUT, Real PR Solutions, BRAJEC and PEAK Performance that is a human skills development company.
Attended by senior government officials and additional key stakeholders in the tourism sector, including Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Tanzania Tour Operators (TATO) and Tanzania Hotels Association, Tanzania Local Tour Operators (TLTO) and Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA), the minister noted that the initiative came at a time when the government was committed to ensuring the sector, becomes largely owned by local investors, who would create more job opportunities for the citizens and promote the industry.
The list including Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Tanzania Tourism Confederation, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), Tanzania Forest Service Agency (TFS), Senior officials from Air Tanzania (ATCL) and Precision Air among others was an occasion, where Dr Kigwangalla said: “To achieve better results out of the tourism sector, the government decided to reduce various fees and charges that impede local stakeholders’ participation in this important sector.”
The Minister further pointed out that the government’s move also led to a significant increase in the participation of the local investors in the industry, citing last year, when the number of investors increased from 1,100 to approximately 2,000, where 600 of them being new locals.
Commenting on the initiative, the programme’s Chief Advisor, Dr Fenella Mukangara said it was specifically designed to complement the government’s efforts in promoting domestic tourism and mitigate effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which recently hit the sector hard.
Dr Mukangara who was the former Minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports, cited some of the features of the initiative being implemented in phases handson- experience training for the youth countrywide.
Others included value chain skills on basic tour guide as a profession, porter services, customer care and hospitality extended mostly to hotels, restaurants, taxi operators and tour companies.
“This training to benefit over 100,000 people will focus on unemployed youth from Form Four and above, who have passion in the tourism sector but lack knowledge on how to move forward. “We will start rolling out this campaign in the Lake Zone covering Mwanza, Geita, Kagera, Simiyu, Mara and Shinyanga and then move to other zones across the country,” she added.
Dr Mukangara mentioned other activities as campaigns in the Lake Zone Tourism and Investment Symposium planned for Mwanza.
Her list further cited special trips to various tourism centres across the country for diplomats and Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), higher learning institutions, a dance music event dubbed Bongofest, Capital Mountaun Run, a 5 and 10-kilometre fun race, Mkeka na Mvinyo that brings together people to drink local wine, Buddy Basketball and Mufindi Golf Challenge.
On his part, a representative from SAUT, Dr Costantino Bushungwa, said they are committed to equipping stakeholders in the tourism sector at the grassroots level with the pre-requisite skills in various areas as per the would-be market needs.
Reached for a comment, majority of the stakeholders, who attended the launch pledged to promote the programme and fully partner with it as coordinators to ensure it fully picks up and implemented to achieve its goals.