What you need to know:
- The increased numbers are enough signs of the fast recovery of the tourism industry, which was severely impacted by Covid-19 in 2020/21.
Arusha. Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA), one of the leading tourist destinations in the country, expects to generate Sh260 billion come 2025.
The record revenues will go alongside a projected record 1.2 million visitors, never seen in the site's 65 year history.
The increased numbers are enough signs of the fast recovery of the tourism industry, which was severely impacted by Covid-19 in 2020/21. This year (2023) NCA expects to generate Sh163 billion from tourists - both foreign and domestic. The figure is higher than during pre-pandemic times.
Mr Elibariki Bajuta, the NCA assistant conservation commissioner said on Tuesday that the statistics were indicative of a fast rebound.
According to him, more than 600,000 tourists have visited Ngorongoro and its different attractions between January and March this year.
He revealed this during the laying of a foundation stone of a new Sh11.4 billion headquarters of the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA). Some Sh11.4 billion will be spent on the project's first phase set for completion late this year. The second phase will cost Sh2.5 billion.
Mr Bajuta said construction of the new headquarters of the institution in Karatu was among strategies to reduce human activities in NCA. The Vice President Dr Phillip Mpango graced the event. The new head office will be located midway between Karatu town and NCA main gate.
Until Tuesday, 35 percent of the civil works had been completed. Structures earmarked for the second phase are auxiliary buildings.
Other measures aimed to reduce pressure include relocation of some residents outside NCA.
Speaking after gracing the event. Dr. Mpango said the new headquarters of the institution should increase the workers' morale in that they will be working much closer to their offices.
Majority of the NCAA employees live in Karatu town, nearly 30 kilometres from the former permanent headquarters which was upgraded slightly over ten years ago.
It is expected that the authority has over 500 workers; the core being the wildlife and conservation professionals and game rangers; others being the support staff.
Dr Mpango called on the management of the authority to increase efforts to make the site a prime destination for the tourists.
The minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Mohamed Mchengerwa said to-date 551 families have been relocated to Msomera in Handeni district from Ngorongoro.
Others, he said, were being relocated to Kitwai village in Simanjiro district in Manyara region "while others could relocate anywhere in Tanzania they wished".