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Dar tourism records  tremendous success  amid Covid-19

Dar tourism records tremendous success amid Covid-19

TANZANIA’s tourism sector has recorded remarkable success in 2021 in terms of the number of visitors and revenue that went up by 76 per cent amid Covid - 19 pandemic.

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Damas Ndumbaro said this in Dar es Salaam, yesterday adding that despite the pandemic, the country’s tourism performed well and foreign visitors recorded in 2021were 922,692, noting: “This performance is good ... it is equivalent to 48 per cent of the regular performance.” He was speaking to members of the Tanzania Editors Forum (TEF) and other journalists on achievements of the tourism sector in 2021.

He also said that the number of domestic tourists reached 788,933, being the highest record since the country attained independence.

The minister noted that in terms of revenue from domestic tourism in 2020, revenue from local visitors registered 9.7bn/- and in 2021 it shot to 12.4bn/- being the highest record since independence.

Dr Ndumbaro further said that during the period revenue collections mainly from foreign visitors increased from 714.59 million US dollars in 2020 to 1.2544 million US dollars in 2021, estimated as an increase of 76 per cent.

He noted that while Tanzania’s revenue in tourism sector went up by 76 per cent, globally the industry was affected by 72 per cent. Elaborating, the minister attributed the achievements to measures taken by the government to fight the pandemic, which built trust to tourists.

He said that among the measures included creating the pandemic awareness among tourism stakeholders such as tour guides, operators, drivers and hoteliers.

“We also set up Standards Operating Procedures (SOP) on how we conduct our tourism activities amid the pandemic, when other countries closed borders…Tanzania continued with its activities,” he said.

Dr Ndumbaro further said that while some countries had no even a single tourist in 2020, Tanzania received 620,000 visitors. Equally, he noted that following the achievements, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation named Tanzania the most resilient country in promoting tourism during the Covid - 19 pandemic .

“Tanzania is number one in the world and ensured that it proceeded with tourism activities during the pandemic ... this is a great honour to the country... following the success Tanzania will in October this year hosts the Africa UNWTO conference and provide an opportunity for other countries to learn from us,” he said.

The minister added that last year, the country received 10 awards in tourism sector and four certificates of recognition. He further said that, before the pandemic, the sector was contributing 17.6 per cent of the country’s GDP while forestry ushered in 3.5 per cent.

Dr Ndumbaro explained that before the Covid-19, the sector on average provided 1.6 million direct employments per year in comparison to the forestry that created 5 million vacancies, which in total made 6.6 million direct employments.

The minister also noted that the sector was also crucial to the country’s economy as it contributes 25 per cent of the country’s foreign currency and 60 per cent of the total revenue in service industry.

He, however, noted that the President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s famous programme dubbed- Royal Tour has attracted about 30 companies from outside the country, which are interested in bringing tourists to Tanzania.

The Minister noted that some companies have also shown interest to invest in hospitality industry by building Star Hotels in Tanzania and royal tour aimed at marketing the country internationally.

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