Tanzania eyes more UK visitors

UK, LONDON: TANZANIA’S target of reaching five million tourists’ arrivals come 2025 is gathering momentum as the country’s High Commission in the UK has outlined strategies to increase the number of visitors to the East African nation.

Tanzanian High Commissioner to UK, Mr Mbelwa Kairuki told the ‘Daily News’ that his office has set up strategies to increase the number of London visitors to Tanzania to 200, 000 come 2027, a move that will also boost foreign currency.

According to him, statistics show that for last year alone there were 71 million trips of people who travelled outside UK, spending 58 billion pounds (equivalent to 186tri/-).

“Despite the huge number of travellers from UK, Tanzania received only a small number of visitors … data shows that our country received only 60,116 travellers, which is equivalent to 0.08 per cent of all travels … I believe we can increase the number through various strategies which have been set up by my office.

“We have started to devise various strategies that will help us to meet our target, including establishing a special tourism desk and employ an expert to manage it … we are also preparing tourism road shows which will be conducted in UK and Ireland to enable us to meet with travel agencies and tour operators and market our tourism products,” he said.

The envoy said the move aims at promoting other tourism circuits such as Southern Circuit which consists of Katavi National Park, Ruaha National Park and Kitulo National Park gifted with numerous tourism attractions, and the Western Circuit covering Mahale National Park and Gombe Stream National Park among others,” he said.

He noted that the move will help to market numerous tourism attractions available in the country instead of relying only on famous parks in the Northern Circuit such as Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Mount Kilimanjaro and Arusha National Park.

Mr Kairuki further noted that the high commission office will also take part in various tourism expo in London where some private companies from Tanzania are also invited to participate.

He noted that through their participation, his office also uses the opportunity to market the eight   Swahili International Tourim Expo which will be held in Dar es Salaam in October next year.

The high commissioner further said that besides such efforts, the availability of direct flights from UK to Tanzania is crucial for strengthening tourism sector in the country.

“Efforts are underway so that we can have a direct flight from UK to Tanzania, I call upon the diaspora to participate in this drive of increasing the number of tourists to Tanzania,” he said.

Tanzania envisions to increase the number of tourists to five million per annum by the year 2025 from the current two million backpackers and it also targets to collect 6 billion US dollars (about 13.8tri/-) in revenues from the tourism sector.

The move is in line with the third Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III of 2020/2021 to 2025/2026), among other things, it aspires to promote its new tourism products development and diversification for sustainable growth and promote the southern tourist circuit as an alternative to other circuits.

In the year 2022, the tourism sector received a big boost from President Samia Suluhu Hassan following her decision to feature in the Tanzania Royal Tour documentary.

This was the first time in Tanzania’s history where the Head of State played such a role in a film, as part of efforts to revive the tourism industry that was greatly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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