Time is ripe for Tanzania to borrow a leaf from countries highly advanced in tourism to enable it compete and increase foreign exchange to boost her economy.
Statistics from the World Bank show that the number of arrivals in the country in 2010 was 783.000.
Tanzania has one of the lowest GDP per capita in the world. The nation has many natural resources including natural gas, gold, diamonds, coal, iron ore, uranium, nickel, chrome, tin, platinum, coltan and niobium.
However, the Tanzanian economy depends heavily on agriculture, which provides 85 percent of exports and employs 80 percent of the work force.
Speaking in an interview, the Honorary Consul of Mexico in Tanzania, Reza M. Saboor, says Tanzania has to borrow a leaf from developed countries which are advanced in tourism.
Tourism is one of the most important and dynamic economic sectors in the world today, both for its level of investment, job creation and earnings potential, and for its contribution to regional development. It accounts for some 11 percent of world production and generates one job in 11. It has been estimated that over the next 20 years, 1.6 million tourists will travel the world, spending two trillion dollars.
Saboor says tourism’s importance to the Mexican economy is unquestionable. Its benefits are reflected not only as an industry that generates employment and spurs regional development, but also because of its role in spreading information about the country’s cultural and natural attractions.
Mexico offers a broad range of tourist attractions. These include the heritage of pre-Columbian civilizations and development of archaeological sites as symbols of national identity, the incomparable beauty of its beaches, the combination of vestiges of millenary cultures with major cities, extensive areas of natural beauty with historical elements that make them unique, and world-class tourism infrastructure.
Tourism accounts for more than 8 percent of Mexico´s Gross Domestic Product and more than 9 percent of direct and indirect employment. The number of tourists who visited Mexico so far in 2008 is estimated to have been 16.844 million, a 5.2 percent increase on the previous year, and international visitors spent 10.3 billion dollars, a 6.3 percent increase on the 2007 period.
Mexico ranks as number 10 in the world for visits by foreign tourists and number 17 in terms of earnings from tourism.
Promotion of tourism plays an important role in maintaining and consolidating Mexico as a world power by generating ever-increasing demand for the country’s destinations and attractions.
México has a wealth of natural and cultural resources due to the diverse climatic conditions and to a historic tradition of more than 3,000 years. This makes the country an ideal destination for international tourists.
In March, 2004, international travel to Mexico generated more than USD1 billion in revenues in the one month, according to statistics released by Mexico's Tourism Secretariat.
In Tanzania tourism employs around 200,000 Tanzanians directly and accounts for 25 percent of the country's foreign exchange inflows and contributes 17.2 percent to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
According to Mexico's Tourism Secretariat, an additional 2.1 million tourists arrived on cruise ships during the first quarter of 2004, up 0.2 percent from the same period in 2003; they spent USD 127m during the period, up 5.3 percent from the first three months of 2003.
Tourism is the third most important economic activity in Mexico, representing 8.3 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The country currently ranks 8th in the number of international visitors and 10th in international tourism revenues, according to the World Tourism Organization (WTO).
México offers a great variety of options for the international tourist. These can be grouped into five main areas: Mayan World, Beaches and Recreational Centres, Archaeology and Prehispanic cultures, Colonial Cities and Architecture and Natural Riches Eco Tourism & Adventure. These groups are not exclusive and some travel options can combine two or more themes.
A considerable number of airlines offer services to México City and Guadalajara, and national airlines join most of the cities in the interior of the country. In addition, various cruiselines visit Mexican ports.
The most notable attractions are the multiple archaeological sites, colonial cities, and the beaches.
The peak tourism seasons in the country are during December and the mid-Summer, with brief surges during the week before Easter and the Spring break, when many of the beach resort sites become popular destinations for college students from the United States.
The vast majority of tourists come to Mexico from the United States and Canada. Many other visitors come from Europe and Asia. A small number of tourists also come from other Latin American countries.
Mexico reached the 57th place in the world's ranking, the fifth among Latin American countries, and the ninth in the Americas.
In considering simply the subindex measuring human, cultural, and natural resources, Mexico ranks in the 19th place on a worldwide level, and 25th for both the natural resources criteria and the cultural criteria.
Guadalajara, Jalisco, the second-largest city by population in the Republic, is home of some of Mexico's best known traditions, such as tequila, mariachi music and charros, or Mexican cowboys.
Its similitude with western European countries mixed with modern architecture and infrastructure makes Guadalajara very attractive to tourists.
Along with Mexico City and beach destinations (Cancun, Acapulco), Guadalajara is one of the most visited cities in Mexico. Cultural tourism is the main attraction, the city being home to a large number of museums, art galleries and theatres.
The city is also the host of several internationally-renowned events, such as the Guadalajara International Book Fair which is the most important exposition of its kind in the Spanish-speaking world, and the second largest book fair in the world.
The city is known as a pioneer in the underground arts scene as well as in the electronic music world, another main touristic attraction.
Other tourism activities include shopping at its world class shopping malls, or plazas, taking a tour to the surrounding areas such as the Huentitan Canyon, Tonalá, Tlaquepaque, Chapala or visiting nearby towns, which are well-connected by modern highways, such as Tequila (the home of the heavenly liquid), Puerto Vallarta or Mazamitla, depending upon whether the visitor wishes to visit a colored bohemian and cultural town, a world-destination beach or stay in a cabin in the middle of the forest.
The coastlines of Mexico harbor many stretches of beaches that are frequented by sun bathers and other visitors.
The central and southern parts of Mexico was host to several pre-Hispanic civilizations, the most prominent being the Aztec, Mayan, and the Olmec. There are numerous tourist destinations where these ruins can be viewed.
The latest additions of UNESCO show a concern for preserving the cultural identity of a country rich in natural resources and owners of an architectural, religious and artistic tradition uniting with the modern movements of a constantly changing planet.
Our economy grew at a rate of 5 percent in 2010, more than 700 thousand jobs were generated this year and growth expectations are found in 4.8 percent.
Mexico is by its tourism activity, one of the ten most important worldwide.
The efforts of all those who integrate the value chain have enabled us to stay at that level for many years.
But we have the potential and the assets to grow and to be among the top five.
Achieving this is a joint and coordinated effort of all actors that comprise the sector.
In addition, in recent years, tourism revenues have been growing as many national parks attract foreign visitors.
Tanzania's major sources of tourists have been Britain, Germany, USA, Italy, France, Spain, and the Scandinavian countries, and receives a sizeable number of tourists from South Africa and Kenya.
Tourists come to Tanzania to enjoy the beaches on its Indian O reserve, Ruaha and Katavi in the southeast and the Serengeti, Ngorongoro, Manyara, Tarangire and Mt Kilimanjaro in the north, among others.