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Stakeholders called on to invest in cultural tourism

21st March 2012
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Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB)information officer William Halule

Stakeholders in the sector of tourism have been urged to invest in cultural tourism as well as promote wildlife and historical sites in the country.

“Tourism has changed a lot and due to a widespread of social networks like Facebook and Twitter, tourisms are no longer sleeping in expensive hotels or going to see wildlife.

They want something unique they can share with their colleagues on Facebook,” said Chris Thompson at a sustainable tourism training workshop funded by the British high Commission in Dar es Salaam yesterday.

While believing that capital was one of the critical challenges in the country, Thompson, who works with Travelife as lead consultant, said the country had all raw materials needed and there was a need to access new markets in the tourist industry.

He said the government could still maintain traditional offers to boost its growth but at the same time it had to preserve its cultural identity.

“The majority of tourists coming from abroad are interested in getting personal experience by meeting with local people and consuming local products,” he said adding that some tourists failed to come to Tanzania because they missed the uniqueness to share with their friends and colleagues home.

According to a survey on sustainable tourism conducted in Arusha and Zanzibar, Thompson said people needed guidance on how to utilise tourist attractions.

Damian Bell, representing Honeyguide Foundation, said one of the challenges in the tourist industry in the country was public awareness on procedures needed to do business.

He said people interested in the tourist industry had to know what to do and improve in the tourist sector.

“My suggestion is that people should change the way they manage tourism,” he advised.

For his part, William Halule, who is Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) information officer, advised those investing in tourism to be creative, organise and set aside unique areas for promoting cultural tourism.

He said tour operators in the country should change their way of operating from taking tourists from the airport-to-hotels-to-game reserves and be creative by introducing tourists to other attractive areas to enable them to buy local objects and products.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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