ARUSHA: Tanzania’s Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources Mohamed Mchengerwa has expressed confidence that Tanzania would welcome 5million foreign tourists in 2025, exceeding the target of 4.5million.
Mchengerwa reaffirmed his position in Arusha while witnessing the great wildebeest migration–the 800 kilometer trek of the immense wildebeest herd in the Serengeti National Park.
According to the Minister, the Great Wildebeest Migration is a movement of different animals as they migrate from one destination to another in search of fresh and greener pastures through the Mara River. The event has been bringing in millions of tourists for the past 60 years, he said. But, “at some point it was disrupted,” he said without divulging further details.
“The government and conservationists have worked hard to protect and preserve these nature for future generations,” he added.
Tourism contributes at least 25 percent of Tanzania’s foreign currency earnings. The annual migration is recognised as among Seven Wonders of the Natural World.
Currently, Mchengerwa said, efforts by the state to improve tourism infrastructures and services has seen a surge in the number of flights bringing tourists into the country. He details that more than 60 airplanes land in the region daily, the number which he claims could be higher than the daily flights recorded at the Julius Nyerere International Airports (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam.
Even so, the Minister urged retail business owners, hotels and tourism operators to get ready to offer services and goods to tourists. He anticipates that tourists will shop at locals’ contemporary stores, contributing significantly to the economy.