The government has promised to continue supporting various stakeholders in the tourism industry in a bid to uplift the sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP).
This was said by permanent secretary in the President’s Office, Peter Ilomo, in Dar es Salaam at the weekend at a short ceremony to hand over the national flag to Respicius Baitwa, a Tanzanian national who will be climbing McKinley (Denali) this month. Denali is the highest mountain in North America.
Baitwa, a Tanzanian with the dream of reaching highest peaks of the world’s highest mountains, has already reached four of the highest peaks in the world and anticipates climbing the remaining seven by next year.
With the support of a Tanzanian company, Highest Peaks Mountaineering Sports (HPMS), Baitwa has already succeeded in reaching the world’s highest peaks, namely Kilimanjaro (19,340 feet) – the highest mountain in Africa in 1998 and Elbrus (18,510 feet) - the highest mountain in Europe in 2008.
Others are, Aconcagua (22,840 feet) - the highest mountain in the western hemisphere located in western Argentina in 2009 and Kosciusko (7,310 feet) the highest mountain in Australia in 2011.
Ilomo said in a speech, hailed the government for supporting all the sectors that contribute to the country’s economic development, adding that more efforts should be done to support such sectors to enable the country realize set targets.
“We are committed to ensuring that the country’s total revenue collections increase drastically. We shall not hesitate to offer support to all stakeholders in a bid to realize this,” he said.
Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) managing director Dr Aloyce Nzuki, who officially handed over the Tanzanian flag to Baitwa, said the individual was a good ambassador showcasing Tanzania to the rest of the world.
“We are grateful to Baitwa for his efforts…After reaching the peak of McKinley (Denali), he will raise the country’s flag opening up doors for more tourists’ opportunities,” he explained.
He said the TTB would keep on implementing its long-term plan of sensitising the public on the importance of promoting domestic and foreign tourism, adding that the board will work hand in hand with all stakeholders in developing the sector.
Baitwa is expected to leave the country on Juni 23 for United States ready for the event. He is expected to climb the mountain for 21 days.
The next two mountains awaiting him to climb by March 2013 includes, Vinson Massif, the highest mountain of Antarctica and Everest, the highest mountain in the world.