Southern circuit tourism in limelight

THE Vice-President Philip Mpango on wednesday said the government has a lot of strategies and efforts to strengthen tourism in the southern circuit.

Among others, Dr Mpango pointed out implementing tourism projects and engaging private sector players to invest in the hospitality industry.

Dr Mpango made statement during a ceremony for handing over 44 trucks, worth 14.77bn/- , to Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) under the Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) project. The event was held at the Mikumi Game Reserve in Morogoro region.

The Vice President further assured that the government was continuing with implementable efforts to improve the tourism infrastructure in the southern circuit.

The REGROW project seeks to strengthen the management of protected areas and promoting the nature-related tourism in Southern Tanzania – known as the “Southern Circuit”, which in turn contributes to the diversification of livelihoods in selected communities.

Elaborating, he said through the REGROW project, the government aims to promote tourism, conserve natural resources and the environment in the conservation areas of Mukumi, Ruhaha, Nyerere and Udzungwa.

He added: “The government has put efforts on strengthening the tourism infrastructure in the southern circuit, including the construction of roads, airports and welcoming investment in hotels for tourists.”

The VP said the trucks would strengthen TANAPA’s ability to patrol and protect natural resources in the southern circuit national parks.

In a related development, he ordered the employees of TANAPA and other conservationists in the country to use the trucks properly for the intended purposes.

In his address, Dr Mpango directed authorities in tourism industry to get rid of bureaucracy, particularly in issuing permits and instead, take advantage of the opportunities available in the sector.

Expounding, he noted that the tourism sector is one of the country’s economic sectors which makes a significant contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and promotes the well-being of the people.

“The REGROW project aims to provide more than 40,000 jobs to farmers and citizens living in the 61 neighborhood villages of the southern circuit reserves” added Dr Mpango.

The REGROW complements the National Development Plan which seeks to increase benefits from tourism, by making key interventions such as diversifying tourism products, improving infrastructures, providing training, and improving the enabling environment for the tourism sector.

The Third National Five-Year Plan Development Plan (FYDP 111) prioritise the development and implementation of legal structure for tourism and regulatory frameworks as well as strengthening public-private dialogue and collaboration.

Key Interventions include promoting new tourism products, diversification and promoting the southern tourist circuit as an alternative to other circuits.

For her part, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Pindi Chana, said the REGROW project is being implemented with soft loan of 150 million US dollars from the World Bank.

Dr Chana said one of the benefits of the project to the locals was providing education to more than 161 young students who qualified for sponsorship in technical colleges, tourism colleges and Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA).

Earlier, Morogoro Regional Commissioner Ms Fatma Mwasa asked the government to consider the plan of constructing road passing outside the game reserve to reduce the deaths of wild animals as a result of vehicle accidents.

Fatma said that the game reserve loses an average of one wild animal a day due to car accidents, adding that from 2015-2021 a total of 1889 animals died from car accidents.

In yet another effort in promoting tourism, on Tuesday this week, Minister for Information, Communication and Information Technology, Mr  Nape Nnauye inaugurated the powered WiFi (a wireless networking technology) services on Mount Kilimanjaro’ Horombo peak which is elevated at 3,720 meters. The internet services are offered by State-owned telecom company, TTCL Corporation.

Mr Nnauye was upbeat that the 146m/- project will address communication challenges for climbers of the Africa’s highest Mountain.

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