By George Sembony
Tanga — Promotion of domestic tourism in Tanga region will likely be the main agenda during the 10-day Tanga International Trade Fair (TITF), which starts in 12 days time in the coastal city of Tanga.
Speaking in an interview at the Mwahako Fair grounds, the Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (TCCIA)-Tanga Region, Mr Charles Hoza, said that they have received a huge support from the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) to promote domestic tourism in the region. The annual Trade Fair, which is the sixth edition, is expected to be opened by the minister for Trade, Industry and Investment, Mr Charles Mwijage.
“Tanga is endowed with several tourist attractions including Saadani and Mkomazi national parks, which, together represent a total of 4,345 square kilometres of protected area and with an average of 12,220 local visitors per annum.
Other areas are the Amboni Caves, beaches, historical and cultural heritage attractions and the three nature reserves (Amani and Nilo) in the East Usambara Mountains and Mazumbai in the West Usambara, which, if marketed, can attract a lot of tourists.
Mr Hoza said the number of live wild animals that will be displayed at the Trade Fair would be increased in a bid to attract locals to visit all protected areas in the region.
Tanapa, which has been a regular participant at the fair, launched a marketing campaign that was meant to promote the attractions available in the region in 2015.
In 2016, the Tanapa director general, Mr Allan KIjazi was quoted by The Citizen as saying that the agency’s goal was to raise the number of domestic tourists by 400 per cent to reach to reach at least two million in a period of four to five years.
The domestic tourism has been reported to be on the rise annually with the Serengeti National Park, the second largest in Tanzania and the most preferred destination for local people, hosting a big number of visitors.
Domestic tourists in Tanzania are estimated at 500,000 a year with an annual growth rate of less than 5 per cent while close to 600 000 foreign tourists visited the country last year.
Tanzania has multiple tourist attractions that pull thousands of international tourists, but most citizens have not been able to sample the same destinations.
According to the World Travel and Tourism Council Domestic Travel, spending generated 33.4 per cent of direct Travel and Tourism GDP in 2017 compared with 66.6 per cent for visitor exports (foreign visitor spending or international tourism receipts).
The council reported that domestic travel spending was expected to grow by 9.0% in 2018 to TZS2, 649.0 Bn, and rise by 8.4% pa to TZS5, 947.5 Bn in 2028.
Closing last year’s Trade Fair, the immediate past Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Professor Jumanne Maghembe had the agencies and organizations dealing with tourism to use media in enhancing domestic tourism.