Tourists target surpassed

DODOMA: NUMBER of tourists recorded as of last February has surpassed the 2023/24 annual target, four months ahead. The Natural Resources and Tourism through the Tanzania National Parks Authority had set a target of 1,387,987 foreign and domestic tourists for this financial year (July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024), but as of last February the country received 1,451,176 tourists, surpassing target by 4.6 per cent.

The Serengeti National Park has the biggest number of tourists, according to Government Chief Spokesperson, Mr Mobhare Matinyi. Mr Matinyi, who doubles as Director of Information Services (MAELEZO), made the revelations on Sunday at a news conference in Dodoma.

“You can see how the country has recorded a greater number of tourist arrivals after the much-publicised Royal Tour Documentary by President Samia Suluhu Hassan, that is why four months before the end of the financial year, our national parks led by Serengeti have already surpassed the set target,’’ he noted.

Tanzania targets an increase in income from the tourism sector to notch 6 billion US dollars (over 14tri/-) from 5,000,000 tourists come 2025, up from the current number of arrivals.

According to target indicators for the tourism sector, by 2025/26 real growth rate is projected to rise from 1.5 per cent to 2 per cent.

The plan envisages an average number of nights to be spent by a tourist to go up from 13 to 14, while average expenditure per tourist per day (non-package/ package) (US) will increase from the current 216/379 to 326/455 in 2025/26.

The sector is envisaged to employ a total of 1,750,000 from the current 1,500,000, the share of foreign exchange earnings in percentage will rise to 27 from the current 25. Yesterday, Mr Matinyi noted that Serengeti national park which for the five consecutive years has been emerging as Africa’s leading national park, was recording a good number of tourists and adding up funds in the state coffers.

Apart from hosting different kinds of animals, Serengeti National Park is popularly known as the home of ‘Big Five’ animals. The Big Five define the ultimate African safari experience of five impressive animals – lion, rhino, leopard, elephant and Cape buffalo.

However, the Government Chief Spokesperson said that the ongoing ElNino rains had adversely affected the roads network in the Serengeti National Park, but TANAPA in collaboration with the ministry of Transport had made tremendous strides to ensure that all roads were passable all the time.

“The national park commands a road network of about 3,176 kilometres and so far, TANAPA has completed road repairs and tourists are passing without incurring any stumbling blocks,’’ said Mr Matinyi adding that the roads were accommodating between 600 and 800 tourists every day.

The government, he said, had already singled out 291-kilometres roads networks that are considered very important for tourism and conservation activities that will be upgraded to higher levels.

“Our experts have already drafted a proposal, and we are only pending approval from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

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