The government wants the sector’s contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rise from the current 17.5 per cent to 35 per cent in the next few years, plus enhancing forex earnings from 25 per cent currently to 50 per cent eventually.
Dr Allan Kijazi, the permanent secretary for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, issued this appeal on Wednesday during a symposium to mark 60 years of Tanganyika independence under the theme ‘Tourism and hospitality growth—opportunities and challenges.’
“The door is open; you can visit my office to give us your advice on how we can improve hospitality or training that we offer at the National College of Tourism (NCT) and other colleges, to help Tanzania provide the best services for tourists coming to Tanzania,” he told the participants.
Even as the ministry awaits advice from stakeholders, the NCT needs to be creative and come up with a new and comprehensive strategy that will help the college to produce highly qualified hospitality professionals suitable in the tourism sector that in turn will enhance international tourists to visit the country’s attractions.
“Tanzania is endowed with a lot of tourism potential, but what we get from there is little by comparison,” he stated, insisting that Tanzania will not reach the targets if public institutions and the private sector “will not partner to ensure our dream comes true.”
Presently tourism is one of Tanzania’s fastest growing economic sectors that account for 17.5 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP), with the sector directly employing close to half a million people and contributing a quarter of all foreign currency earnings, he stated.
“I believe if we take serious measures on it, Tanzania will manage to reach the targets,” he further noted, urging public and private sector firms to take measures to promote domestic tourism.
Domestic tourism is vital because the market is huge, as right now Tanzania has 60 million people, he said, elaborating that 90 per cent of tourism sector earnings is generated from wildlife tourism.
“Let us focus on other areas, identify new tourism potentials so that we can raise our GDP and move where we are to another position,” he further noted.
Lineo Morenammele, Dean- of the School of Enterprise and Management at the University of Lesotho, on a working visit to see what Tanzania is doing in the tourism and hospitality sector, the country needs to empower trainers or lecturers to go to areas where tourism services are offered.
They should conduct research and see what is required in the market and thus train students accordingly, she said, elaborating that this will help develop suitable skilled labour, help tourists access the best services while in Tanzania.
This will relate to the funds they put into the sector while here, and help to attract more international visitors to those attractions, she asserted.
The visiting team of researchers wants to see what is required to improve hospitality such that it will attract more international visitors to Tanzanian attractions, she emphasised.
Dr Shongo Mlozi, the NCT Chief Executive Officer, said the NCT management is proud for what has been achieved so far as the college has four campuses that offer different courses in tourism, in Dar es Salaam, and Mwanza regions.
The college runs three programmes that include hospitality, tourism and event management for short and long courses at certificate and diploma level, he said, noting that next October the college will introduce degree in hospitality and tourism management.
Enrolled students had increased to 1050 students at present, with 3000 students having graduated, he stated. NCT will renovate its campus located in Arusha to assist the college produce highly skilled labour force, he added.