A statement released yesterday by the Prime Minister’s Office said Majaliwa is set to receive more than 300 visitors in March, the first batch of more than 10,000 tourists whose bookings with travel agents have been confirmed. The visit is part of a programme jointly organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and the TouchRoad International Holding Group, a Chinese firm.
The premier made the pledge at the weekend in his office in Dodoma when he held talks with TouchRoad International Holding Group chairman Liehui He and TTB board chairman Judge (rtd) Thomas Mihayo.
“We have a tourism promotion strategy which seeks to increase the number of visitors by improving transport infrastructure and other aspects. This visit is an opportunity for us to showcase our hotspots,” he said.
The premier urged people living near major tourist attractions to grab entrepreneurial opportunities provided by increased visitor numbers by coming up with products that fall under cultural tourism such as traditional foods and garments.
Organisers have decided to sell Dar es Salaam - not just as the mega commercial city but also a tourist hub that the visitors will explore before proceeding to Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and Djibouti, the statement indicated.
The TouchRoad Group chairman arrived in the country at the weekend with a group of 31 people including journalists, artistes and celebrities from various fields.
Majaliwa first met officials from TouchRoad International in September last year in Beijing, during the China-Africa Business Forum and the group showed interest in bringing tourists to Tanzania.
“We are going to bring 10,000 tourists this year and we have set a target to increase the number by 20 per cent every year for five years. We also plan to use ATCL (Air Tanzania Company Limited) to fly the visitors directly from Shanghai,” said He.
The visit is among many planned by Tanzanian tourism bodies. Last year, Tanzania launched tourist promotion with a road show in Hong Kong with the aim of attracting more Chinese tourists and investors in the country.
In 2017, China ranked eighth in terms of tourist numbers with more than 29,000 travellers visiting the country.
“We believe the number of tourists from China will triple in the coming year,” said Devota Mdachi, managing director of the Tanzania Tourist Board, at the road show last year.
Co-organized by the Tanzanian Embassy in China, the Honorary Consulate of Tanzania in Hong Kong and Macao as well as TTB, the event brought representatives from tourism, investment and trade sectors from Tanzania to the city to showcase Tanzania’s culture and natural beauty.