Tanzania finally admitted into UN tourism body

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Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ms Angellah Kairuki at the 25th UNWTO General Assembly in Uzbekistan. PHOTO | COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The organisation, a UN-affiliated institution with 159 member nations, is charged with the crucial duty of promoting the world travel and tourist sector

Arusha. The World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has formally admitted the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) as a new affiliate member, raising the country’s tourism profile.

The organisation is a UN-affiliated agency representing 159 member countries, vested with the most important function of fostering the global travel and tourism industry.

“I have the pleasure of welcoming the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators to the UNWTO, as your admission has been approved on October 18, 2023, during the 25th Session of the General Assembly, held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan,” announced UNWTO Director for Affiliate Members, Ambassador Ion Vilcu.

Ambassador Vilcu added: “Consequently, hereinafter, you are considered an UNWTO affiliate member, benefiting from all the services and rights inherent to your membership in the organisation”.

He said that the UNWTO considers the private sector an important partner in fulfilling its general mandate for the promotion of sustainable tourism development and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda.

“Within this context, we recognise the great potential of the collaboration with your entity to contribute towards the creation of a more ethical and responsible tourism industry for the benefit of the international community, and we are delighted that your entity has decided to join the over 400 already existing UNWTO affiliate members,” Ambassador Vilcu explained.

It is understood that the UNWTO affiliate member serves as the major gateway for alliances and collaboration between the private and public sectors in the tourism industry across the world.

“Joining as an affiliate member allows your entity to achieve local, regional, national, and global visibility through the network and channels of the UNWTO. The affiliate member is a fundamental tool in increasing the competitiveness of the private sector actors in the tourism industry,” reads a UNWTO document.

The UNWTO networks serve as a venue for active collaboration where UNWTO member states and affiliate members can interact, share and access relevant information.

Furthermore, Tato would benefit from the platform to generate, disseminate and apply specialised knowledge in order to take advantage of the great potential to address pressing tourism-related issues of common interest, such as skills transfer and accessing cutting-edge technologies from a variety of sectors.

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ms Angellah Kairuki, was quick to congratulate Tato for qualifying to be an affiliate member of the global tourism body.

“I wish to commend the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) for bringing the Tanzanian private sector into this key global tourism intergovernmental body," said Ms Kairuki, who is the vice-chairperson of the 25th UNWTO General Assembly. 

And according to the Tato chairman, Mr Wilbard Chambulo, the membership is a major step forward to position Tanzania as the best tourism and investment destination on the world map.

 “We are here to tell the world’s investors to support our conservation stewardship. We invite you to come and invest in Tanzania to spur economic growth that, in return, generates funds for conservation and creates jobs for the locals who have sacrificed their ancestral lands for conservation,” said Mr Chambulo, who led a high-profile delegation at the key UNWTO meeting.

He told participants that Tanzania has a competitive advantage when it comes to natural and cultural attractions, as it boasts the highest concentrations of wildlife per square kilometre than anywhere else in the world.

Tato is a members-only group that advocates for over 300 private expert tour operators in Tanzania.

Tanzania houses four of the most coveted adventure destinations on earth: the Serengeti, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Ngorongoro Crater.

After attending the 25th UNWTO, Tato’s mission will continue out to Turkey to perpetuate its promotion of Tanzania as the best safari destination to woo tourists and investors, Tato CEO, Mr Sirili Akko, said.

“Tato will be meeting with investors in a variety of different business sectors in Istanbul, Turkey. Tanzania is one of the few African countries eager to discuss new business ventures with entrepreneurial Turkish investors who are looking to support and grow a vast number of export products within the country,” Mr Akko explained.