The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) recently held its ninth annual Tanzania tourism awards in Cairo, Egypt on May 19th as a part of the 34th Africa Travel Association (ATA) Congress, with the Hon. Shamsa S. Mwangunga, MP, Tanzania’s Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, serving as the presenter of the prestigious awards.
The TTB first announced the establishment of the Tanzania Tourism Awards in 2000 during the ATA Congress in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with the first awards being given the following year during the Congress in Cape Town, South Africa.
Recipients of this year’s awards included African Dream Safaris, recipient of the Tanzania Tourism Board Tour Operator Humanitarian Award; Thomson Safaris, recipient of the Tanzania Tourism Board Tour Operator Conservation Award; African Mecca Safaris and Safari Ventures, recipients of the Tanzania Tourism Board Tour Southern/Western Circuit Award; Lion World Tours and Asante Safaris, recipients of the Tanzania Tourism Board Tour Operator Product Development Award; South African Airways and Egyptair, recipients of the Tanzania Tourism Board Airline Award; Ann Curry from NBC-TV, recipient of the Tanzania Tourism Board Media Broadcast Award; and Eloise Parker from New York Daily News, recipient of the Tanzania Tourism Board Media Print Award.
This award ceremony was originally designed in order to show support and appreciation to the travel industry professionals as well as to the media who have worked to promote and sell the country in the growing US market, which has been the number one source for tourists to the east African country for two consecutive years.
“We are proud to announce tonight that, for the second consecutive year, the American market is still the number one source of visitors to Tanzania worldwide,” said Hon. Mwangunga at the awards ceremony.
Hon. Mwangunga went on to indicate that the number of tourism arrivals for 2008 were counted at 770,376, representing a 7 percent increase over the numbers from the previous year.
In addition, Hon. Mwangunga said that the visitors from the US to mainland Tanzania and the Spice Islands of Zanzibar increased to a record high of 66,953, from 58,341.
“We attribute this growth to the many aspects of our marketing plan, not least of which is the strong support of our travel industry partners we are honoring here tonight, as well as the great impact of a two-year, CNN-US TV ad campaign and “Ultimate Safari” sweepstakes – and our first (2008/2009) WABC-TV/NY ad campaign,” said Hon. Mwangunga, “If this trend continues, we are confident to reach our goal of one million tourists in 2012.”
In addition, Amant Macha, the TTB marketing director said that the Karibu Travel and Tourism Fair, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary between June 5 and 7, has also helped to enhance the American market as a direct result of the support coming from both South African Airways and Ethiopian Airlines.
“Both airlines offered special fares for our Tanzania Travel Agent Specialist Program, with more than 1,080 graduates,” said Mr. Macha.