Tanzania expects tourism boom after lifting flight ban

Thursday May 21 2020

 

By Rosemary Mirondo @mwaikama rmirondo@tz.nationmedia.com

Dar es Salaam. Tanzania expects tourists from at least four countries to start arriving in the country anytime from this month to July, the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) announced yesterday.

This is after the government announced the opening of Tanzania’s skies and that it would no longer require tourists to undergo the mandatory 14-day quarantine for tourists who visit the country as a measure to contain further spread of Covid-19 numbers.

TTB managing director Devota Mdachi said yesterday they have been in talks with a number of countries especially those that have witnessed a decline in Covid-19 infections and that the countries have shown intention of bringing tourists into the country.

China, she said, will bring at least 260 tourists in its first trip, while Czech Republic, Isreal, Malaysia and some European countries will also bring tourists to Tanzania.

“Malaysia has shown intention of flying tourists into the country through its own airline, while Turkish Airline is expected to bring other tourists anytime this month. Emirates will also fly some more tourists in July,” she said.

TTB chairman Judge (rtd) Thomas Mihayo said following the Covid-19 outbreak, the board came up with long and short term strategies that saw the country continue with promotion of its tourist attractions.

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Last week, the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, and other stakeholders agreed to formulate Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) on how to manage tourist activities in the country.

“I have directed the TTB managing director to hold meetings with tourist stakeholders to see how the implementation of SOPs is getting along in a many areas where tourists are received as well as lodges,” he said.

He said TTB will also inspect the areas to ensure that the services adhere to safety rules as well as equipping themselves with emergency services in accordance with the SOPs

He further said they will hold talks with the embassies, tourist market ambassadors in the country to assure them of what the government was doing to ensure the safety of the visitors.

However he noted that after the government opened its economic activities including the tourist sector, TTB continues to advertise its tourist attractions and hailed the Great Migration Camp for starting its Serengeti Live Shows which are aired through TTB social media and Youtube channels.

Meanwhile, hotel operators say it was too early to state when they would be opening their businesses until they see tourists coming in.

“It is too early to comment. It shall be recalled that people were not told to close hotels. They did so after they saw that there was no longer business for them. By June, we could be in a better position to speak something,” said the Hotels Association of Tanzania chief executive officer, Ms Nura-Lisa Karamagi.