National parks, hotels besieged with tourists

05Aug 2022
The Guardian Reporter
DAR ES SALAAM
The Guardian
National parks, hotels besieged with tourists
  • Zitto Kabwe says Tanzania could earn $3bn this year

FOREIGN visitors streaming into the country’s airports, hotels and wildlife parks are increasing by leaps and bounds, with tourism sector officials saying it is the result of ‘The Royal Tour’ documentary that is completing the first round of being unveiled around the world.

The film starring President Samia Suluhu Hassan translated into live images what was being shown on exhibitions by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and the various national parks, showing outsiders the scenes in the country’

With big numbers of foreign tourists in the northern parts of the country tour companies face transport challenges to take them on a roving tour of national parks, while an equally impressive influx of tourists was being reported in Zanzibar.

Tourism stakeholders say this is usually a modest period in tourist arrivals, but the number of tourists had vastly increased compared to last year.

Arafat Haji, director of the Zanzibar Insurance Corporation (ZIC), said the Isles are flooded with tourists, advising the government to invest in expansion of key infrastructures like airports and ports to manage the increase in tourist inflows.

“As we continue promoting our tourist attractions, we should also consider expanding landing infrastructure, to ensure a conducive environment to attract more visitors,” he said.

ACT Wazalendo party leader Zitto Kabwe wrote in his twitter account that Arusha is full of tourists, suggesting that “Tanzania will probably set a record by earning $3bn, equivalent to 7trn/- from tourism alone.”

“We may get $3bn this year. With high oil prices, this is a big boost to our economy. However we need to improve infrastructure to achieve the $8bn target,” he stated.

“We may cross $3bn this year,” the suave political leader exclaimed, pitching the post with INFLOWS! INFLOWS!.. to underline the surprising turnout of foreign visitors.

Reports indicate that Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Kilimanjaro, Arusha and Zanzibar entry points are flooded with tourists, such that rooms in hotels appear insufficient to cope with the demand.

Paul Mollel, a tour vehicle driver in Arusha said he had never previously experienced a situation like this. “I have never seen huge numbers of tourists in Arusha like this since I was born,” he said, praising the documentary initiative on the part of President Samia,

Mwanza airport manager Pascal Kalumbete said the documentary has effectively marketed the country's tourist attractions, and thus the airport is receiving far more passengers than was the case earlier.

Extending the runway from 3,300 meters length to 3,800 meters facilitated small and big planes to land at the facility and complement government efforts to raise the number of visitors to five million by 2025.

Tourism analyst Johnson Masanja suggested the need to improve airport facilities to ease the way for airlines using large commercial planes to plan trips to any of our entry points.

Last year, Tanzania earned $1.4bn from tourism and now some industry analysts are saying the earnings could be doubled.

Gerson Msigwa, the chief government spokesman, said this on August 1 when a Dutch KLM plane brought in upwards of 250 tourists at the Kilimanjaro International airport (KIA).

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says that the number of tourists increased to 458,048 in first five months of the year compared to 317,270 visitors from January to May 2021, a 44.4 per cent increase.

 

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