Sports tourism game changer

DODOMA: THE Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Angellah Kairuki, has announced plans to use sports to increase the number of tourists in the country.

In her presentation of the Ministerial Budget for the Fiscal Year 2024/2025 in the Parliament in Dodoma, Minister Kairuki outlined the goals to increase the number of visitors to the nation.

“The Ministry has planned to broaden its promotion of tourism within and outside the country through popular sports leagues and competitions to attract more tourists,” she said.

She emphasised that it is important to note that football is the most watched sport globally, with the English Premier League (EPL) being viewed by over 4.7 billion people worldwide, followed by Spain’s ‘La Liga’ and German’s ‘Bundesliga’.

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The ministry’s strategy of leveraging these popular leagues and competitions is expected to drive the country’s tourism industry growth.

Minister Kairuki emphasised that to compete in the tourism market with countries having similar natural resources and attractions, “The Ministry will continue to participate in exhibitions and tourism events, as well as promote our tourist attractions through international airlines such as Qatar Airways, Emirates, and Turkish Airlines.”

According to the Minister, in the fiscal year 2022/2023, Emirates International Airlines transported approximately 43.6 million tourists, so promoting our tourist attractions through these airlines is expected to accelerate tourism growth and open up new markets.

Furthermore, for the fiscal year ending December 2023, the ministry collaborated with Epic Tanzania Tour to organise a tennis event within the Serengeti National Park, attended by around 80 visitors from other nations.

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Through the tennis event, which featured the renowned tennis player, Veteran John McEnroe, Tanzania was promoted, particularly the Serengeti National Park, in the popular World Tennis magazine, the Forbes website, and the British newspaper The Times, which are among the largest international tourism markets. In addition, Minister Kairuki highlighted that ongoing efforts to promote tourism have increased tourist revenue from 1.3 billion US dollars in 2021 to 3.4 billion in 2023, contributing to the country’s accelerated development as income levels have risen.

Despite accounting for 21.5 per cent of the national GDP, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism employs a large number of people, around 3.6 million, in direct and indirect roles.

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