By Katare Mbashiru
PRIME Minister Kassim Majaliwa has asked all envoys representing Tanzania in foreign embassies to entice more tourists visit various tourist destinations in the country.
He said it was high time they borrowed a leaf from the Tanzanian Ambassador to China, Mberwa Kairuki and Dr Wilbroad Slaa who is the Tanzanian Ambassador to Sweden, in bringing tourists to the country.
The Premier was speaking during the official inauguration of the fourth Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE), organised by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), in Dar es Salaam yesterday.
According to Mr Majaliwa, Tanzania was endowed with many tourist attractions, some of which were not found anywhere in the world, however, the number of tourists coming into the country was still not adequate.
Speaking at the occasion, TTB Board Chairman, Judge (rtd) Thomas Mihayo, said as of 2017 the number of tourists visiting the country stood at 1,327,143 and that Tanzania earned 2.26 billion US dollars.
2018 SITE exhibitions which bring together 170 tourism companies and over 300 tourism agents worldwide, will take place for three consecutive days until tomorrow. During her earlier remarks, TTB Managing Director, Devotha Mdachi said apart from witnessing various tourist attractions showcased at Dar es Salaam’s Julius Nyerere International ConventionCentre (JNICC), participants will have ample time to visit various tourist destinations in the country.
“In order to make sure that our agents from foreign countries get to know better our tourist destinations, we have prepared a tour after SITE exhibitions and our agents will visit, Ruaha, Mikumi, Udzungwa and Tarangire national parks, as well as Ngorongoro Crater and the Spice Island of Zanzibar,” she said.
In what appears to be yet another strategy to attract Chinese tourists to Tanzania, a team of photojournalists and videographers was in the country to record the whole SITE events.
“This team will also visit our various tourism destinations and take photographs and videos that will be aired by Chinese local television stations to attract more tourists to Tanzania.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister reiterated yesterday that plans were afoot to tap the potential of beach tourism by establishing a special directorate that will be coordinated by TTB in collaboration with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism.
He expressed the government’s commitment just four days after Natural Resources and Tourism Deputy Minister Japhet Hasunga said the envisaged directorate would be established this month in an effort to attract more tourists in the country.
Deputy Minister Hasunga said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that the ministry was fully committed to have a highly dedicated directorate that will oversee beach tourism.
Yesterday, Mr Majaliwa said the country was blessed with many beaches 1,300 kilometres from Tanga to Mtwara and others found on Lake Victoria, Tanganyika and Nyasa.