Remote Maasai village luring foreign tourists online with Halotel

30Aug 2018
Beatrice Philemon
The Guardian
Remote Maasai village luring foreign tourists online with Halotel

A remote Maasai village in Monduli district of Arusha region is promoting its cultural tourism potentials online thanks to availability of internet connection by Halotel Tanzania Limited.

A Maasai woman at Julius Cultural Boma admiring her handcrafts as she awaits tourists. Photo: Guardian Photographer. 

The Elisilalei village has set up a Julius Cultural Boma as a tourist facility targeting mainly foreign arrivals from Asia, Europe and North America, among other places on the globe. The Boma’s Secretary, Lazaro Mollel said yesterday because of Halotel’s internet connection they have been able to promote their village to global tourists markets through online adverts.

"Right now internet connection in our village is very good and faster, we use internet to communicate with international tourists who have been visiting our cultural Boma which earns us an income to fight poverty,” Mollel told a group of Dar es Salaam based journalists who are visiting Arusha.

He further pointed out that internet and mobile phone services have helped villagers easily communicate with potential clients both at home and abroad who pay fees of between U$ 50 (over 100,000) and 50,000/- for foreign and locals respectively.

“When they visit our Boma, the tourists also buy Maasai souvenirs such as beads, headgears, bangles, clothes, among other cultural products,” he noted saying tourism is helping both men and youth earn more income to meet costs of living.

He paid tribute to the mobile phone services company for connecting the remote pastoralist village which has enabled diversification of occupations from farming and cattle herding to tour guiding and trading.

Mollel said the majority of tourists who visit Julius Cultural Boma come from Asia, Europe and North America while few are local and neighbouring countries such as Kenya.

Chairman of JCB, Nomusey Olemoko also commended Halotel for connecting the village but urged the company to ensure that recharge vouchers and Halo Pesa agents are readily available at Mto wa Mbu, a flourishing commercial suburb of Monduli.

“Halotel is our main services provider here but they need to open a big office at Mto wa Mbu to enable us get served by their employees when need arises,” said Olemoko. Julius Cultural Boma was established in 2014 as a private initiative to lure tourists who visit the high end Northern tourist enclave.