Tanzania among top 2017 luxury travel destinations

26Jan 2017
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Tanzania among top 2017 luxury travel destinations
  • • With wildlife safaris, trekking routes and historic places, like the Kaole ruins, Ismila Stone Age site, Engaruka ruins as well as the Mikindani and Ngorongoro Conservation areas, the country is a good place to simultaneously explore history and natur

African countries are generally on the bucket list of adventure seekers, but some African countries, like Tanzania, have started to increasingly be preferred by luxury tourism travelers.

TTB Managing Director Devota Mdachi.

With vast plains, coral reefs, tropical fish, dusty valleys and rain forests that are home to a myriad of wild animals, Tanzania is among the top luxury destinations for tourism in 2017, according to a Forbes report.

The number of tourists visiting Tanzania rose 10.4 percent in the 10 months leading up to October compared with the same period last year, the Finance and Planning Ministry announced recently.

Tanzania is known for its wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery, from pristine islands in the Indian Ocean to magnificent volcanic mountain peaks. Tourism is the main source of foreign currency in Tanzania, best known for its beaches, safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro.

With wildlife safaris, trekking routes and historic places, like the Kaole ruins, Ismila Stone Age site, Engaruka ruins as well as the Mikindani and Ngorongoro Conservation areas, the country is a good place to simultaneously explore history and nature.

"Asilia's new Highlands Camp is located in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, about 45 minutes from the famous Ngorongoro Crater, so you are conveniently positioned for easy access to the game preserve, which boasts some of the highest biodiversity in the world. Aside from the classic safari experience, Asilia Highlands is in the heart of Maasai country, where guides arrange visits to local bomas for an in-depth perspective on how an ancient culture lives today, much like they have for millennia," Forbes reported.

Meanwhile, looking to attract three million tourists in the next two years, Tanzania has switched its marketing plans to focus at new emerging market sources in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Rim, and South America.

Under tourism marketing coordination by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Tanzania is looking to raise the current number of tourists from 1.14 million to three million visitors in 2018 through a newly-designed international marketing drive.

TTB Chairman of the Board of Directors, Justice Thomas Mihayo, said his institution has targeted to attract tourists from emerging new markets from China, India, Russia, Turkey, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Tanzania had once mainly depended on European and American markets, but Justice Mihayo said the new strategy would be to intensify marketing campaigns starting this year, looking to tap emerging new tourist sources in Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Pacific Rim.

TTB is implementing the International Tourism Marketing Strategy, a document that was compiled and launched five years ago, aiming to market Tanzania tourism at a global level through a public and private partnership initiative.

Leveraging on this new marketing strategy and other national initiatives, it is estimated that the number of tourist arrivals will reach two million by the close of 2017, increasing the revenue from the current US$1.35 billion to about US$2 billion, then raising the number of tourists to 3 million in 2018 and increasing tourist income to US$4 billion.

TTB Managing Director Devota Mdachi said that her institution has teamed up with other tourist marketing and development partners to ensure that Tanzania achieves the three million tourist arrival target by the close of 2018. She said strategies to market Tanzania tourism abroad as stipulated in the 5-year plan involved huge amounts of money.

“The International Market Strategy, spanning from 2012 to 2017, wants us to establish offices in our major markets and have representatives there, but as we are talking we have been forced to close our office in the US because of [a] limited budget,” she said.

Tourism is Tanzania’s leading foreign exchange earner, generating about $2 billion per year and contributing 17 per cent of Tanzania’s annual income. That’s more than what gold or manufacturing brings in. It is also estimated to provide 500,000 jobs.

Through implementation of this strategy, 12 strategic goals have been focused and targeted, all aimed at raising Tanzania’s current position on the world tourism map, from the 90th position to the 75th position.

In market share, the strategy is also looking at increasing Tanzania’s tourism market share in 2017 from the current 11 per cent to at least 14 per cent of the total number of tourist arrivals in Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, and Botswana which are key competitors, from the four primary source markets of the United Kingdom (UK), Italy, Germany, and the United States.

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