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Stakeholders laud  govt’s efforts in  bolstering tourism

Stakeholders laud govt’s efforts in bolstering tourism

TOURISM stakeholders have commended the government for steering well the 2.6 billion US dollars (about 5tri/-) a year sector, which is still reeling from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.

The players lauded the gov- ernment, saying the move was akin towards the realisation of five million tourist target, come 2025.

They however, appealed for a friendlier business environment to complement government’s efforts towards the craving.

“We are doing everything that is possible within our reach to ensure that materialises, but that can only happen with a conducive investment environment,” said Mr Tom Kunkler on the sidelines of the Karibu-Kili fair tourism expo Press Conference last Thursday.

Mr Kunkler, who is also a co-director of the East Africa’s number one Tourism Expo and Networking platform, stressed on the need of working closely with the government in achieving the target.

He said realising such a goal cannot be made possible through mere promotions, but collective efforts by the government and the private sector.

The government had in the recent past reiterated its intention of increasing the number of tourists visiting the country from 620,000 during the Covid-19 outbreak to five million in the next three years.

A number of strategies had been laid down to meet the desired target, including educating stakeholders in tourism value chain.

Slated for June 3-5 in Arusha this year, the region’s largest tourism expo is expected to bring together more than 350 exhibitors from 12 different countries.

It will also host almost 400 registered travel agents from 38 countries.

“Although the Covid-19 pandemic forced us to stop the expo for the past two years, we are fully back with new ideas and highly motivated exhibitors and buyers this year,” said Mr Kunkler.

He further described the Karibu-Kili Fair event as an excellent platform for Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions and the rest of the world to establish new business relations and to improve existing contacts.

Tanzania, just like any other country in the world was mas- sively hit by Covid-19 pandemic, which had crippled the lucrative industry in the country.

According to the third National Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III), Tanzania aspires to promote new tourism products development and diversification for sustainable growth and promote the southern tourist circuit as an alternative to other circuits through the REGROW initiative.

Tourism accounts for more than 17 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 25 per cent of foreign earnings.

The sector possesses significant potential to contribute to the national economy and foreign receipts on account of the unique natural attractions present in the country relative to elsewhere on the continent.

The tourist attractions present in the country include national parks and game reserves, plants, mountains, valleys, waterfalls, and coastal areas.

To promote sector competitiveness and linkages, the FYDP III is prioritising development and implementation of clear tourism legal and regulatory frameworks and strengthening public-private dialogue and collaboration.

According to target indicators for the tourism sector, by 2025/26, real growth rate is projected to rise from the current 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent.

The number of tourist arrivals is projected at five (5) million, up from the current 1,527,230.

The plan envisages an average number of nights to be spent by a tourist to go up from 13 to 14, while average expenditure per tourist per day (non-package/package) (US) will increase from the current 216/379 to 326/455 US dollars in 2025/26.

The sector is envisaged to employ a total of 1,750,000 from the current 1,500,000, the share of foreign exchange earnings in percentage will rise to 27 from the current 25, while earnings from tourists are projected to hit 6 billion US dollars from 2.6 billion US dollars currently.

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Author: EDWARD QORRO in Arusha

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