Samia pushes for mega hotels

  • Tasks TIC, ZIPA to attract more investors

TO cope with the ever increasing influx of foreign tourists’ in the country, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has directed relevant authorities to step up massive investments promotion drive, especially in mega luxury hotels.

According to the Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Monthly Economic Review released in June 2023 which covers key macroeconomic indicators, Tanzania tourism arrivals surpassed 1.6 million in year ending May 2023, reaching historic heights.

Tanzania’s travel receipts almost doubled to 2,560.7 million US dollars in 2022 from 1,310.3 million US dollars in 2021, consistent with the rise in the number of tourist arrivals. Tanzania received 1,454,920 tourists in 2022, compared to 922,692 in 2021, and 616,491 in 2020.

In 2020, revenues were down to 1 billion US dollars as the sector was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on international travel, from a peak of 2.6 billion US dollars in revenues and 1.5 million arrivals in 2019.

Opening a 5-star accommodation facility — Kwanza Resort by SUNRISE in Kizimkazi yesterday, President Samia did not hide her delight for the newly established hotel, saying the country needs more of such facilities to cope with the number of tourist arrivals.

“To address the increasing influx of tourists from abroad, it is imperative for ZIPA (Zanzibar Investment Promotion Authority) and TIC (Tanzania Investment Centre) to play a key role in attracting investors to set up more mega luxury hotels in the country,” said Dr Samia.

President Samia said attracting such kind of investments was also crucial for the country to create more employment opportunities for youth.

She said that the ‘Royal Tour’ documentary has brought positive results of increasing the number of tourists and investors eyeing to invest in the country.

In April 2022, President Samia unveiled “The Royal Tour” documentary while promoting FDIs during her official visit to the US. Filmed throughout Tanzania in 2021, it features Emmy Award-winning journalist Peter Greenberg travelling to Tanzania with President Samia.

In the documentary, President Samia is the ultimate guide for a week, exhibiting Tanzania’s history, culture, environment, food and music as well as telling the stories of Tanzania’s hidden jewels.

President Samia also revealed that British Actor Idris Elba will come into the country in the near future to open a film studio, a move she said will spellbound tourism sector.

“When I was in Arusha recently, I shot a film with Chinese Actor, Jin Dong, titled ‘Nyumbani Milele’ which will be televised in China,” she said, adding that the objective is to attract more tourists from China and other parts of the world.

President Samia presented the Chinese actor with a certificate as Tanzania’s Tourism and Cultural Ambassador to his country.

“China has about ten million people who move out on tourism missions annually, if we manage to attract at least three million from them, it will be a big deal,” she said.

On Tuesday’s evening event was part of various activities lined up to celebrate this year’s ‘Kizimkazi Festival.’

She thanked the Zanzibar government for ongoing improvement of investment and business environment which attracts foreign investors, adding that the Unguja South incorporating Kizimkazi village is changing fast in terms of development and that changes are sometimes unbelievable, “It isn’t possible until it is done!”

In attaining real development, Dr Samia emphasised engaging the private sector. “We cannot move faster in development without the involvement of the private sector,” she said.

Dr Samia explained that she was so thrilled by the development of ZIPA, which has turned to a one-stop-centre, approving or clearing investment applications within 24hrs instead of three to six months in the past.

Earlier, Executive Director of ZIPA, Mr Asharif Ali Sharif said his office is working closely with TIC to increase the number of investments in the country.

He poured praises on President Samia, saying that her efforts in promoting peace and stability and business environment is attracting many investors, including plans for Formula One Race and NBA sports planning to invest in Zanzibar. He said Silicon high technology is already operating in Zanzibar.

The Zanzibar Minister for Labour, Economy and Investment, Mr Mudrick Ramadhan Soraga said that there has been a lot of changes in room for investments in the country and plans are underway to table ‘Investment Act 2023’ in the House of Representatives, which will create more opportunities for investors, including room for the Diaspora to come and invest in the country starting with only 2,000 US dollars.

The Kwanza Hotel CEO, Hussein Hassanein said he was attracted to invest in Zanzibar because of the hospitality of the residents and good environment.

He thanked President Samia and Zanzibar’s President Dr Hussein Mwinyi for good cooperation which enabled him to construct the 151 rooms’ facility, which has employed 300 staffs, 99 per cent being Tanzanians.

Before opening the hotel, Dr Samia inaugurated a water supply station at Kizimkazi developed by Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority (DAWASA) in collaboration with Zanzibar Water Authority (ZAWA).

Dr Samia also opened Kizimkazi refurbished school with 11 rooms, computer lab, and administration offices, funded under Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF).

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