UNWTO extols Tanzania’s tourism potentials 

TANZANIA’s tourism industry has the potential to create jobs, generate foreign exchange earnings and expand the tax base, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Academy official.

Flagging off the maiden UNWTO Academy digital tourism training for Tanzania’s tour operators held in Arusha, Dr Jasmina Locke said, however, for this to happen the country requires a highly skilled, qualified and motivated human capital base.

“Growth of the tourism sector is an attractive sustainable economic development option for Tanzania with great potential to create jobs, earn foreign exchange, provide revenue to support the conservation drive, and expand the tax base to bankroll development plans and poverty-reduction efforts,” said Dr Locke.

In view of the growing importance of tourism in the Tanzanian economy and the need to develop the necessary digital skills in the subsector, the UNDP Tanzania has requested UNWTO’s technical assistance in the implementation of key activities related to building digital capacities of related stakeholders to stimulate and accelerate tourism recovery.

Dubbed, on-site modules training on tourism digitisation, the first of its kind for Tanzania’s tour operators is the brainchild of two key UN agencies, namely United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UNWTO Academy under the auspices of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO).

The UNWTO Academy intensive training to equip Tanzania’s tour operators with pertinent digital marketing skills, covered the marketing, online events, e-commerce, sales optimisation, web analytics, business intelligence, and customer relationship management.

TATO Chief Executive Officer Sirili Akko said the course was one of the painstaking measures taken by his organisation in supporting President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan’s efforts to recover tourism subdued by Covid-19 pandemic.

It is understood, since President Dr Samia ascended to power, she rolled out vaccination against Covid-19 virus, directed the Royal Tour Film, and made a number of diplomatic visits among others in her efforts to restore confidence to tourists and investors.

It goes without saying, President Dr Samia’s Royal Tour film’s content, its strategic premiere in USA market and timing had a widespread grip in terms of commanding significant traffic of tourists and investors.

Produced by Peter Greenberg, the maiden film featuring President Samia, as his key guide—showcasing Tanzania’s rich cultural, wildlife heritage and array of investment opportunities through her leadership eye, was launched in the New York, US on April 18, 2022.

What made the “Royal tour” series different from most tourism-related programming is that, aside from presenting an informal and personal side of a leader, it presents a 360-degree view of a Tanzania, the home of number one Safari destination in the World, housing four of the most coveted adventure hotspots on earth: The Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, and Ngorongoro Crater compounded by the kind hearted people of Tanzania.

TATO deployed a high profile delegation led by its Chairman, Wilbard Chambulo, in New York on 18th April 2022, to support President Dr Samia during the Premiere of Tanzania, The Royal Tour film.

Fortunately, all these efforts have yielded tremendous impact in terms of commanding substantial tourists traffic, Mr Akko said, citing the latest official statistics that show the country received 742,133 tourists between January and July 2022, representing nearly 63 per cent growth compared to the same period in 2021.

Back to the UNWTO Academy tourism digitisation, TATO CEO, conceded that truly the digital world flipped the table and made everything so easy that one can settle things with just a few clicks.

“In the advent of today’s digital age, the importance of digital marketing for businesses has grown and the travel industry cannot afford to let this opportunity slip away,” Mr Akko said amid applause from the floor.

By going online, the travel business agencies can now implement different activities to make them known, reach a lot of people all over the world, and tell them exclusive offers and post ads that will make every person watching want to head out and start planning for a getaway.

“Sincerely, the influence of digital marketing transcends borders which allows the travel sector to entice people from all over the world to the different places they can visit,” Mr Akko explained, adding, “TATO is so grateful to the two UN agencies of UNDP and UNWTO Academy for their incredible training for Tanzania tour operators.”

UNDP Country Representative, Ms Christine Musisi, said: “As the UN Secretary General, Antonio Gutteres, says, the world can and must harness the power of tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. UNDP reiterates its support on tourism issues ensuring digital tourism is enhanced by imparting knowledge to tourism stakeholders so as to accelerate tourism recovery.”

The Executive Education Programme Assistant at the UNWTO Academy, Tijana Brkic, said that the idea behind the programme is to facilitate seamless travel and tourism operations through application of digital innovative marketing and other solutions.

“It will also support the packaging of value for money and competitive tourism products as a way of building back faster and stronger destination,” Brkic said.

Equally important, the scheme intends to restore confidence in the source markets including other travellers depending on the motive of travel, like either for business, volunteering work, study, camp, and research.

“At the end, the project wants to restore hope within the local economies especially those who have lost their jobs because of the Covid-19 pandemic,” she explained.

Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Eliamani Sedoyeka commended TATO, UNDP, and UNWTO Academy for complimenting the government efforts to spearhead tourism digitisation.

“I’m so delighted for TATO and UN agencies initiative as they complement President Dr Samia and her government’s efforts to digitise tourism industry in line with the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi election manifesto which envisages to attract five million tourists and generate $6.6 billion in 2025” Prof Sedoyeka said.

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