Tanzania confident on $6 billion tourism revenue target

Summary

  • The record amount for the sector is to be attained of the goal of five million arrivals annually will be realised

Arusha. The government has reiterated that it is confident the $6 billion revenue target from tourism by 2025 will be attained.

The record amount for the sector is to be attained of the goal of five million arrivals annually will be realised in that year.

“Our projection remains five million tourists a year,” Natural Resources and Tourism minister Pindi Chana said yesterday.

She said figures of the number of foreign tourists are already encouraging after two years of limited growth due to Covid-19.

Attainment of the five million tourists goal would, among others, hinge on diversification of tourist attractions and introduction of new products.

Deliberate measures, she explained, would be focused on the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (Mice) segment.

After dropping to only about 600,000 in 2020 from 1.5 million in 2019, rising later to 900,000 last year, there are signs that the number of tourists visiting Tanzania will cross the one million mark this year (2022).

Between January and May this year the number of visitors has gone up by 44 percent, compared to last year, from 317,270 to 458,048.

Dr Chana expressed her expectations during a media brief on the sixth edition of Swahili International Tourism Expo to be held in Dar es Salaam in October. The event slated from October 21 to 23 at Mlimani City is expected to attract 200 local exhibitors and 300 international buyers.

The annual Expo would not be held in 2020 and 2021 as the leading sector in forex generation was almost brought to its knees by the pandemic.

It was initiated in 2014 when it attracted only 40 exhibitors and 24 international buyers, later rising to 170 and 333 by 2019 respectively when it was last held.

Dr Chana described the Swahili Expo as one of the initiatives being taken by the government to boost the tourism sector.

“Mice (for which the Expo falls in) is one of the strategic products that will take our tourism to another level,” she said.

The Swahili International Tourism Expo is essentially for networking among the industry players from within and outside the country.

However, according to Dr Chana, this year’s edition will be graced by an investment forum targeting exhibitors from outside.

The minister cited the Ngorongoro-Lengai geo-park as another tourist product that will be marketed to attract more tourists.

Although the geopark encompasses Ngorongoro, Karatu, Monduli and Longido districts, its centre of attraction is the Oldonyo-Lengai.

The 3,188-metre active volcano north of the Ngorongoro Crater attracts thousands of tourists each year who are often amazed by periodic eruptions.

Unesco, the UN agency responsible for heritage sites, recently endorsed elevation of the site to a geopark of international significance.

Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) acting managing director Felix John said the board has embarked on aggressive marketing of tourist sites.