Arusha. NMB Bank has assured support to investors in the tourism sector that would enable them to recover from the impact of the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic. This would be done through extending loans to the hospitality outfits which have been seriously hit by the pandemic to rebound in business.
This was revealed here by the bank’s head of commercial services Alex Mgeni during the just-ended Tanzania Tourism Summit in Arusha for which the lender was the main sponsor.
“We are aware of how Covid-19 has impacted on the tourism sector. We are striving hard to make the appropriate interventions,” he said.
The repercussions of the global pandemic included loss of jobs for thousands of workers in the hotels, lodges, restaurants and tented camps, some of which were closed.
He said in order to speed up recovery, NMB Bank was ready to extend loans of up to Sh5 billion to the new investors in tourism establishments in order to fast track the recovery efforts. NMB Bank manager for the Northern Zone Dismas Prosper acknowledged the contribution of the tourism sector to the economy, especially in foreign exchange generation. He said the northern regions of Arusha, Kilimanjaro, Tanga - and, to a certain extent, Manyara - were largely dependent on tourism revenues to finance the development projects.
Tanzania Tourism Summit director Tom Kunkler lauded NMB Bank for sponsoring the event, saying tourism fairs would boost the sector, now struggling from the Covid-19 impact.