Arusha. Historic buildings and archaeological sites across the country are to be upgraded as top-notch tourist sites, the government has said.
The move is among the measures being taken under the on-going reforms in the tourism sector, now targeting two million foreign visitors by next year.
“All historic and archaeological sites have to be preserved accordingly,” said the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Hamis Kigwangala yesterday.
The minister was speaking at the Olduvai during the climax of the 60th anniversary since the discovery of an Early Man (Australopithecus boisei) skull at a remote site in Ngorongoro district.
The discovery which put Tanzania on the world map in human evolution studies, was made in July 1959 by the British born Mary and Louis Leakey.
Dr Kigwangala said the historical sites in particular have been put under the national conservation agencies for proper management.
These are the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Tanzania Wildlife Management Authority (Tawa) and the Tanzania Forestry Services( TFS).
The Olduvai Gorge museum and associated structures as well as the nearby pre-historic footprints at Laetoli are under the management of NCAA.
The historic sites to get priority in restoration exercise include the Stone Town in Zanzibar, Kilwa ruins, Isimila stone age relics in Iringa and the rock art sites in Kondoa.
He told a large audience at a remote site that revenue collected at Olduvai have more than tripled to Sh. 2.5 billion since the opening of a museum in 2017.
The minister for Information, Culture, Arts and Sports Harrison Mwakyembe the government was keen to preserve and protect the cultural heritage.
“There is a lot of potential here for attracting tourists,” he said, noting that reforms in the National Museums were enough indication of the state’s commitment.
During yesterday event, broadcast live by TBC 1, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa inaugurated a museum dedicated to the Leakey family.
This is where the couple lived during and after their major discoveries which later (in 1976) included the four-million-year old Early Man footprints at Laetoli.
A larger museum was built and opened on October 2017 near the site as part of the wider project by the NCAA to promote its pre-historic sites for tourism.