The caution comes hot in the heels of cases involving tour operating companies conning tourists wishing to visit the country’s tourist destinations recently.
According to the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, the dishonest tour operators were denting the prospects and good fortunes offered by the tourism industry.
Prof Maghembe said he had instructed the Director of Tourism Deograsias Mdamu to identify such operators and strike them off for conning unsuspecting tourists.
“We’ve been receiving a lot of such cases and as a government we will not condone them…we can’t be at the mercy of such crooks,” cautioned the minister.
Prof Maghembe insisted that the government would continue taking swift and stern actions against rogue tour operators for the good of the sector.
“We cannot afford to destroy the sector for the sake of a few individuals who masquerade as genuine operators,” he added.
For his part, an executive secretary with Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Sirili Akko, admitted that the agency had received a number of such cases and was liaising with the government to sort out the tourists.
Akko revealed that there were tourists who had been stranded in the country since their arrival in Tanzania and had not been attended to by the operators who had promised to host them while in the country.
“This is a very saddening trend…we are doing our best to assist the visitors by either connecting them with other genuine operators or finding ways of compensating them,” assured the TATO official.
The agency is said to have already had a meeting with Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) and the Ministry concerned to identify genuine operators.
Earlier on, the Chief Executive Officer of Hotels Association of Tanzania (HAT) Nura-Lisa Karamagi appealed to the government to create a favourable business environment in spite of the existing challenges.
The CEO told the minister that the hotel and hospitality industry was in dire need of investment, urging the government to aid the private sector.
“We appeal to you to maintain an open door policy for the betterment of the sector,” she said.The USD2bilion-a-year industry contributes 17 per cent to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creates 500,000