Tourism campaign attracts more Chinese visitors

Sunday May 19 2019

Chinese tourists arrive at Kilimanjaro

Chinese tourists arrive at Kilimanjaro International Airport. They were met by the Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa and minister for Nartural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla among other high-profile dignitaries. photo|elisha mayallah. 

By Elisha Mayallah

Efforts to attract tourists to destination Tanzania appear to be paying off as the number of tourists increases.

A group of 330 tourists from China for example arrived in the country last Sunday. This is the first group out of 10,000 Chinese tourists expected to visit before end of this year, thanks to the Tour Africa-New Horizon project.

Tour Africa New-Horizon is a marketing approach promoting Africa to prospective tourists from China. This is done by the Chinese Touch Road International Holding group.

Tanzania Tourist Board, the Tanzania Embassy in China and Chinese Touch Road International Holding Group are the stakeholders in this initiative between China and Tanzania, according to TTB MD, Ms Devotha Mdachi.

One of the things that made Tanzania attract more Chinese nationals, besides the growing bilateral ties, include assertive campaigns to woo more tourists from China and other parts of the world.

The tourists arrived at KIA aboard Ethiopian Airlines’ Airbus 350 and were welcomed by the prime minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, Natural Resources and Tourism minister, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, minister of foreign affairs, Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, TTB board chairman RTD judge Thomas Mihayo and TTB MD, among other high-level government officials. Ethiopian Airlines is the airline charter company of this China-Africa-Tour. The delegation is comprised of Top Chinese Government/provincial officials, travel agents, the media, investors and tourists.

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The delegation will after a week proceed to Harare and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe before they return back to China. This is the first itinerary they chose to sample combined top tourist attractions in Africa as they introduce more and more Chinese to Africa, according to Mr He Liehui , chairman of Touch Road International Holding Group.

The Chinese tourists are set to experience wildlife and other nature in Lake Manyara national park, visit the Ngorongoro Crater and the Serengeti National Park as well as Maasai bomas to see one of the prominent tribes in Tanzania.

The Chinese investors including 50 executives from 25 companies met 150 local investors at the Arusha International conference centre to engage in business prospects of the two countries. The meeting was attended by the Minister of state in the prime minister’s office responsible for investment, Mrs Angela Kairuki.

Prime Minister Majaliwa lauded the half century relationship between Tanzania and China from the days of the first president of Tanzania, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and Mao Tsetung president of China in the early 60s.

In his address at the Mt Meru Hotel, the PM commended TTB, the conservation agencies, TANAPA and Ngorongoro as well as tour operators for handling such a big number of group tourists.

On his part, Dr Kingwangala stressed that the demand for service from the tourism stakeholders is critical as it needs set standards that will impress the Chinese to experience lasting memories and to come again.

Minister Kigwangala said that Tanzania has now embarked on tourism marketing, focusing on emerging markets such as China, Israel, Australia, Russia and Oman. More new international arrivals are likely to boost the national economy.

Currently, tourism accounts for 17% of GDP with the prospects of being one of the fastest growing sector.

Tanzania is working to position itself as an all-year-round tourist destination, marketing its wildlife parks and other tourist sites, among other products, said the TTB MD Ms Devotha Mdachi.

The Chinese tourists were hosted for a dinner party at the prestigious Mt Meru Hotel in Arusha as a welcome dinner. Tanzania ambassador to China Mr Mbelwa Kairuki, was also present.