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Despite the troubles in the global economy, tourism in Tanzania has continued to see strong growth, registering a 5% increase in 2011 compared to the previous year.
Euromonitor says that the Tanzanian government is trying to diversify its tourism source markets to reduce dependence on countries such as the US and UK, which are still battling with economic troubles. “In a bid to remain competitive and attractive to potential tourists, it has launched a new tourism campaign dubbed ‘Think Asia’, aiming to tap into the growing Asian outbound travel market. Looking at wooing tourists from the emerging markets of China, India and Russia, the government is also promoting Tanzania’s tourism offering through foreign missions and embassies in those countries. This initiative should help to further boost the number of overseas tourist arrivals.”
“As a result of the increase in number of visitors from the Middle East to the East Africa region, the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) is also currently eyeing upcoming Arab travel markets and intends to take advantage of airlines from the Middle East operating in African skies. Tanzania is also targeting Brazil as a key tourism source and has recently opened a new diplomatic office in the capital city of Brasilia.”
In addition to international visitors, domestic tourism in Tanzania is also on the rise. “Over the last few years the nation has witnessed a significant increase in the number of locals visiting tourist attractions thanks to initiatives from the TTB,” notes Euromonitor.
While Tanzania’s tourism sector traditionally focused on wildlife, the country is also trying to develop other niches such as sports, family and medical tourism.
Earlier this week How we made it in Africa reported that Canadian luxury hotel group Four Seasons has taken over the management of a lodge in the Serengeti National Park. The property comprises 60 rooms, 12 suites and five villas. Four Seasons has also announced two additional new hotels planned for Tanzania – one at the Ngorongoro Conservation Area and another on the island of Zanzibar.
Euromonitor, however, says that while Tanzania’s tourism industry remains a key driver of economic growth, the country’s global ranking in terms of tourism and travel competitiveness has fallen in recent years. “This is a clear indication that there is a need for increased investment in the industry so as to make the nation a more attractive tourist destination in the future.”