Tanzania records 25pc increase in tourist arrivals

TANZANIA: THE National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has released the new number of international arrivals in the country which shows that in 2023, the number increased to 1,131,286 compared to 900,182 who entered the country in 2022, thanks to the Royal Tour film by President Samia Suluhu Hassan.

The new figures indicate that there is an increase of 231,104 visitors equivalent to 25.7per cent, according to NBS Director for Economics and Statistics, Daniel Masolwa.

Releasing the new Statistics at a media conference at NBS headquarters in Dodoma on Monday, Mr Masolwa noted that the numbers were recorded between January and August 2023.

“Out of the total arrivals who entered the country, 336,203 visitors had their entry through Zanzibar, equivalent to 31.1per cent of total arrivals,” he said.

Mr Masolwa further noted that the number of international arrivals for August increased to 186,030 compared to 158,049 arrivals recorded during the corresponding period in 2022. This is an equivalent of 17.7per cent.

The number of international arrivals who entered the country in August 2023 through Zanzibar was 336,203 and estimated as 29.7per cent of the total arrivals.

Statistics by nationality show that the United States tops in the list of international arrivals from outside Africa with 84,541arrivals, followed by France (72,009), Germany (57,798), United Kingdom (51,505) and Italy 51,056.

Elaborating, he added that for the month of August 2023, majority of arrivals came from Italy (14,986), USA (14,416), France (11,997), UK (9,852) and Germany (9,161).

During the period under review, international arrivals from Africa shows that Kenya is leading with 128,753 followed by Burundi (69,505), Zambia (38,394), Rwanda (37,269) and Uganda (28,595).

Mr Masolwa said that tourism sector which contributes 25 per cent   of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is also a source of foreign currency and employment, thus calling upon service providers in hospitality industry to provide quality services with the aim of attracting more tourists.

The main tourism attraction is the presence of variety of wild animals especially lions, hyena, elephant, rhino, buffalo which are not found in other African countries.

Mr Masolwa said the increase in number of tourists has been greatly contributed by the Royal Tour film which attracted tourists especially from US.

Most of tourists who visit the country come between August and October during the wildebeest migration from Serengeti National Park to Masai Mara and return in November to short- grass plains and calving ground.

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.

The initial launch was done in New York on April 18, 2022 and filming in Los Angeles on April 21, last year and in Dar es Salaam on April 28 the same year and in Zanzibar.

The documentary has had a ripple effect in the tourism sector which earns the country about 2 billion US dollars (about 4.6tri/-) per annum, with backpackers coming in droves from all over the world to sample Tanzania’s tourist attractions.

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.

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