DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – Tanzania earned $1.8 billion from tourism in 2013, which is a first in the history of tourism in Tanzania.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Lazaro Nyalandu, was speaking in Dar es Salaam last week on the sidelines of the just ended international tourism fair.
Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) has set up the new International Tourism Fair dubbed as Swahili International Tourism Expo (S!TE) so as to open up international tourism markets to local tourism agencies.
Nyalandu said this is the good step for the country’s tourism sector, taking into consideration amid the current economic uncertainty, “tourism is one of the few economic sectors in Tanzania growing strongly, while driving economic progress in our country.”
According to Nyalandu, between 2002 and 2013, Tanzania registered a growth of over 50% in international tourist arrivals.
He said in 2013, Tanzania received 1,135,884 tourists, who earned the country $1.81 billion.
Tanzania is blessed with unique natural and cultural attractions but minister Nyalandu said: “We cannot rely merely on the abundant tourist attractions.
“It is important that we work harder than ever to capitalize on the ‘top of mind’ awareness that our previous efforts have generated for the country. As a nation, we need to make concerted efforts on strategies to promote our attractions.”
In February 2013, TTB entered into partnership with Pure Grit Project and Exhibition Management LTD to establish an International Tourism Fair in Tanzania, known as Swahili International Tourism Expo (S!TE), with effective from October, 2014.
Pure Grit Project and Exhibition Management LTD is the company that manages the INDABA Tourism Fair, one of the largest tourism marketing events on the African calendar and one of the top three ‘must visit’ events of its kind on the global calendar.
The TTB Acting Managing Director, Devota Mdachi said that the effort to establish S!TE in addition to promoting Tanzania as a preferred tourist destination is intended to link the Small and Medium Tourism Enterprises (SME’s) with the international Tourism market.
“It is a fact that many Tanzanian tourism agencies are small-scale enterprises, which have limited capital and ability to access to international tourism markets,” Mdachi said.
She said S!TE and in particular the hosted buyer programme will help address this challenge.
Mdachi, urged all tourism enterprises to seize the opportunity which will enable them link their tourism businesses with regional and international tourism markets.
S!TE, Tanzania’s first ever International Tourism Expo, will be held annually in October at the Mlimani City Convention Centre in Dar-es-Salaam and focuses on inbound and outbound travel to Africa and takes the format of a travel and trade exhibition with a conference element focusing on topical tourism, sustainability, conservation and other market related issues.
Dar es Salaam has been strategically selected as a place for staging the fair because of its geographical location, adequate air access; the existing ‘state of the art’ and readily available infrastructure and amenities suitable for establishing an international tourism fair.