Good idea for ships to become new source of tourist visitations

13Jan 2020
The Guardian
Good idea for ships to become new source of tourist visitations

A NEW element in the country’s drive to enhance tourism has apparently been added by improved facilities at the port of Dar es Salaam, including the start of services at berth number 7. The berth appears to have taken off with a bang as a ship with 600 ocean faring tourists visit Dar es Salaam-

-and Bagamoyo, with their key interests being historical places. These usually refer to visitors who came to East Africa in the past, where the coastal areas are more frequented.

While the new port berth was more or less being unveiled to many readers of this newspaper, there was another novel element, ‘Ocean tourism.’ This is what the visitors and the sheep crew said the docking ship was all about, namely that it collects people in various countries who have time to spare and aren’t allergic to ocean-based travel, and in many instances relish that situation of being out in the deep sea. With periodic scares in the airline industry, such visitations may rise in the future, but then not many people have all that time.

The docking ship of 600 new visitations appeared to be lending a hand to the goal or reaching two million tourist visitations per year, not firstly because of their number but rather as this batch of tourists had the hallmark of being a new source. The tourists embarked from the Far East, and in another tour they may bring even more passengers when those visiting now wish to repeat that experience or they impress upon others that it is worth it. It all depends on the time they dispose, the sort of experiences they take home, and other affinities.

Speaking about new means of travel, the real challenge is the frequency of those trips, for instance there is the tourism train from South Africa that comes northwards up to Dar es Salaam from Johannesburg. It often arrives once per year and it is uncertain if it has clocked in Dar es Salaam each year or there have been some lapses from time to time, but conceivably it could dock in a bit more periodically. It is a question of organization, at times the need for discounts and even special lodges for budget tourists, as well as creativity in the range of events they will be through, for instance elements of cultural tourism, etc.

What was also a morale booster in the ship’s visit was that it is an indicator that the southern and say coastal circuit may receive greater attention. Even then plenty of work has to be done to bring the level of visitations to the southern circuit anywhere near the more familiar northern circuit attractions. There may be things that require real specialization so that the right markets are sourced.

Managers at the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) are making efforts to diversify visitations and products to be offered, so that Tanzania can rank up much higher in visitations compared to the sort of attractions it has, as in that regard it is among the top potential destinations in the world. As the Far East visitors were reported to have remarked, they were also interested in sampling the social environment. Perhaps it is needful to have liaison agents, even by paying some consultancy fees instead of advertisements and featuring in exhibitions, as it may still lack direct contacts.

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