Better days for tourists, diplomats beckon

Tuesday November 16 2021
Tourism pic

Game drives are popular activities in Serengeti National Park. PHOTO |FILE

By The Citizen Reporter

Arusha. Better days for tourists and diplomats are in the offing, thanks to the rollout of the police training programme, as part of key players’ ambitious strategy to enhance tourist’s safety and security.
Dubbed, a tourism management, safety and security tailor-made course, is brainchild of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (Tato) in partnership with Saint Augustine University of Tanzania (SAUT)’s Arusha campus and Police force’s tourism and diplomatic unit, bankrolled by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In his keynote address during the onset of an intensive training programme for a pioneer batch of police personnel who are deployed in northern tourism circuit, Tato CEO Sirili Akko said the training seeks to empower men and women in uniforms on how to handle tourist’s cases related to safety and security.
“Safety and security play a critical role in influencing tourists’ decision making on country selection for their holidays, that’s why Tato has sponsored training for our men and women in uniforms. If works well the training will be replicated countrywide,” Mr Akko noted, amid the applause.
He, however, vowed that the historical working relationship between Tato and police force would stay as long as the life goes on.
It is understood, in 2018, Tato spent over Sh157.6 million to construct an ultra modern tourism and diplomacy police station in Arusha, the first of its kind in Tanzania, meant to deal with tourism and diplomacy related cases.
The initial bunch comprising police personnel attached to the Tanzania’s Tourism and Diplomatic Police Unit in Arusha, Arumeru, Karatu and Ngorongoro are currently being imparted skills on various security aspects pertaining to tourism industry for a month or so in a bid to boost security in tourism hotspots.
Officers from other police stations that have been entrusted with the responsibility of guarding various tourism destinations in the country will be subsequently trained in due course.
Tanzania is one of key tourism destinations attracting nearly 1.5 million tourists who leave behind $2.6 billion annually, thanks to its amazing wilderness, incredible natural landscapes, friendly people coupled with safety and security element.
Officiating at the commencement of the intensive training, Arusha Regional Police Commander Justine Masejo said the course would add value to the President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s strategy to woo five million tourists come 2025.
“We as law enforcers are implementing the directives of the President Samia Suluhu Hassan who is a Commander-in-chief of armed forces. Recently, for the first time in history, we all witnessed President guiding the shooting of Royal Tour Film in her efforts to attract more tourists,” Mr Masejo said.
The police chief said that professionalism, modernization and social engagement are the key pillars for the contemporary force.
“This course will enable my men and women to be more professional when they handle tourism related issues. I urge the officers to take the training serious as soon than later they will become the role model for others in Africa” he concluded.
The RPC registered the force’s appreciation to Tato’s patriotic spirit, saying the move worth emulation.
Deputy Director for Academic Affairs SAUT Arusha Campus, Mr Vincent Baraka, much as tourism contributes significantly in the stability of the
National economy, this couldn’t be achieved if safety and security for tourists is uncertain.
“Allow me to sincerely appreciate a wonderful work done by our police forces. Kudos ACP Justine Masejo for securing Arusha, an epicenter of tourism business in this part of Africa” Mr Baraka said.
He also expressed his gratitude to Tato as an organization and specifically its CEO, Mr Sirili Akko for fostering tourism industry.
“Dear Mr Akko, the CEO of Tato, keep moving, your contribution will never be underrated” Mr. Baraka noted, adding: “We at SAUT are also playing our part in developing programmes and Courses that provide accurate answers to the tough questions in the tourism industry”.
For his part, the SAUT’s Tourism Head of Department, Mr Ebenezer Goroi said the tailor-made course would help the police officers to handle tourist’s cases professionally.