TANZANIA has achieved a remarkable feat by claiming the second spot in Africa’s tourism performance, a significant milestone that underscores its resilience and revival in the face of challenges. According to a report featured in the local The Citizen newspaper, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) ranked Tanzania second, recognising its impressive strides in drawing tourists to the country.
Hassan Abbas, the Permanent Secretary of Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, highlighted the journey of the tourism sector through adversity. Despite the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, Abbas pointed out that fresh investments and the production of a government-backed documentary, titled The Royal Tour, have played pivotal roles in reinvigorating the industry.
Notably, the influx of visitors during the first quarter of this year has demonstrated Tanzania’s bounce-back. The number of tourists exceeded 400,000, a significant surge compared to the 250,000 recorded in the same period of 2022. This impressive performance led to the country’s ranking just behind Ethiopia in Africa’s tourism landscape.
Abbas expressed his optimism for the sector’s future, stating, ‘This is a very good step in the tourism sector because we have come out of Covid-19 and soon we will release fresh data on the number of tourists for the half-year. We continue to thank Tanzanians for continuing to invest in the tourism sector, many good things are coming.’
Tanzania’s growing influence in the global tourism arena has also translated into strategic roles. Abbas highlighted that the country has been selected as a member of the council responsible for shaping worldwide tourism strategies and plans. Additionally, Tanzania holds the vice-chairmanship position within the UNWTO, reflecting its proactive engagement on the international stage.
During a conference, Thereza Mugobi, the head of tourism at the ministry, outlined key lessons from Tanzania’s journey that could catalyse transformative change in the travel industry. These lessons encompass expanding private sector participation and making substantial investments in enhancing tourism infrastructure.
‘Mauritius has made serious development in beach tourism and it also works with the private sector very closely. The private sector always conducts tourism research and shares recommendations with the government. In Tanzania, we also work with the private sector but we need to invest more,’. Mugobi emphasised.
Furthermore, the importance of hospitality emerged as a crucial factor in driving tourists to return for leisure travel. Abbas took the occasion to introduce a new six-member board for the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), featuring representatives from both the public and private sectors. Ambassador Ramadhan Dau was appointed as the chair of the board, filling the vacancy left by the retired Judge Thomas Mihayo’s term as president. This appointment signifies a cohesive approach to steering the future of Tanzania’s vibrant tourism sector.