Kenya, Tanzania ministers tee off golf tourism to boost leisure travel

27Sep 2021
The Guardian Reporter
TANZANIA
The Guardian
Kenya, Tanzania ministers tee off golf tourism to boost leisure travel

TANZANIA has started to invest heavily on sports tourism in efforts to expand travel packages to boost the industry which needs major boost after suffering global pandemic. 

Dar es Salaam golfers that took part in a recent Diplomatic Golf tournament pose for picture at the event, which took place at Dar es Salaam Gymkhana Club course.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, through the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) has just launched ‘Golf Tourism,’ to become regional tourism sports events that are set to attract new types of sports-oriented leisure travellers from overseas as well as those living around the East African region.

In introducing the special package of sports tourism, Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Damas Ndumbaro, invited his Kenyan counterpart, Najib Balala, to tee off the event at the Kilimanjaro Golf Club, in Meru, Arusha.

"Kenya is already ahead in Golf Tourism, but since Tanzania is now following suit, it is just fitting to have the Kenyan minister to officially grace the event," Ndumbaro noted during the occasion to open Golf Tourism at Kilimanjaro Golf Club in Arumeru District.

Kenya's Minister for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, pointed out that golf being a popular international sport, which attracts millions of players, can thus greatly boost the country's incoming tourists traffic.

Tanzania figures that, with proper promotion, better packaging and active synchronization with other tourism packages, golf events can help drive incoming tourists’ traffic to reach 5 million by the year 2025 when earnings from the travel industry are targeted at 6bn/-.

The country will cooperate with its immediate neighbour, Kenya, in organizing international golfing events to attract participants from all over the globe.

“Of course, golf is always regarded as a sport for the wealthy and affluent people, these are exactly the patrons we are targeting,” Balala maintained. 

The TTB Chairman, Judge Thomas Mihayo, said the COVID-19 pandemic took a drastic toll on the country’s tourism industry and in an effort to revive the sector, it was important to include new packages and offers.

The Tanzania Golf Union (TGU) president, Chris Martin, pointed out that while launching Golf Tourism is a good initiative, the country is still being constrained with inadequate golf courses to complement the efforts.

According to Martin, Tanzania needs to establish golf courses and activities in each and every region across the nation, because in order to attract international players, the country must also have enough professional golfers to give challenge.

Golf is yet to penetrate well in Tanzania, where the only form of sport most people seem to be conversant with, is low-end soccer.

The inauguration of the ‘Tanzania Golf Tourism,’ was conducted in-sync with the ongoing third Diplomatic Golf Tournament which attracted more than 140 participants from 13 countries around the world.

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