ROYAL TOUR FEAT: Samia’s zeal earns reward

THE Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) has honored President Samia Suluhu Hassan with a special award in recognition of her zeal of promoting tourism.

Presenting the award to the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Ms Pindi Chana here on Tuesday evening, TANAPA Board of Trustees Chairperson, General George Waitara (rtd) said the conservation agency feted President Samia for playing a starring role in the Royal Tour Documentary which among other things promotes destination Tanzania.

“There’s no other way of appreciating President Samia’s diligent efforts marketing our natural attractions through the feature film,” explained retired General Waitara on the sidelines of the TANAPA Tourism Award night gala held at the conservation agency’s headquarters.

Thanks to the feature film, tourists are now trooping to the country, to the excitement of tour operators and hotel owners, Mr Waitara said.

President Samia guided the filming and recording of the Royal Tour film in August last year.

The documentary, which features sights and sounds of Tanzania, seeks to promote the country’s tourism position among other African destinations to the global audience then raise travel and tourism awareness for recovery from the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The President guided the filming crew in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and Serengeti National Park after doing the same on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa.

The film has had a ripple effect on the 2 billion US dollars a year industry, with tourists coming in droves to sample Tanzania’s wealth in flora and fauna.

Mid this year, the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) became a beehive of activity following a number of tourists that had flocked the country.

Similarly, a number of major airlines started their maiden flights to the East African nation with some increasing their flight frequencies following the premiering of the feature film by the President.

Such a development also saw a number of hotel establishments in the northern tourism circuit running out of beds, as it was attested by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Elsie Grandcourt, last month.

The UNWTO official equally reserved praise for President Samia the documentary which premiered in the country in April, this year, noting that it would further cement Tanzania’s status on the global tourism map.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), a total of 742,133 tourists visited the country between January and July, this year.

This equates to a 62.7 per cent rise from the corresponding period last year, where 456,266 visitors toured the country.

Arusha region will early next month host UNWTO’s 65th Commission for Africa Meeting, a platform that will bring together a number of delegates, raising the prospects of Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions tourism product (MICE), a lucrative part of the tourism mix across the globe.

By 2025, the country hopes to reach $6 billion in tourism revenue, which assumes the influx of five million tourists annually.

It has, through its conservation agencies embarked on important upgrades and improvements to tourism infrastructure and services, to achieve such a feat.

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