Tourism easily attracts private investors, generates jobs and fuels economic growth. Blessed with nearly 30 islands, Tanzania is home to some of the world’s most fascinating tourist attractions.
However, despite the blessing, the country accounts for only a small part of the global tourism market. And, although policy-makers strive to transform the sector, the country still has a long way to go.
While Zanzibar has for long been a popular tourist resort, Mafia island 160 kilometres to the south remains virtually unknown tourism-wise.
Mafia has great potential to contribute significantly to Tanzania’s economy given its attractions. But transport services are seriously wanting , much to the dismay of residents and tourists.
Transport woes facing the island are just a tip of the iceberg, as there are several other islands which can also earn millions in tourist dollars, but experience the same problem.
We are indeed shooting ourselves in the foot by not improving transport services on our isolated islands.
Seychelles has slightly over 90,000 citizens – roughly twice the population of Mafia, but the former rakes in 60 per cent of its GDP from tourism. We need more investments in tourism-supportive infrastructure to further boost its contribution to the economy.