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Tanzania Tourism Arrivals Surpass 1.6 Million in Year Ending May 2023, Reaching Historic Heights

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The Bank of Tanzania (BOT) released its Monthly Economic Review-June 2023 which covers key macroeconomic indicators for the year ending May 2023.

External Sector Performance

The cumulative effects of the shocks, particularly the war in Ukraine and the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the external sector of the economy.

Accordingly, the current account deficit widened to USD 5,276.1 million in the year ending May 2023, from USD 3,263.6 million in the year to May 2022, owing to a high import bill.

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The balance of payments, therefore, recorded a deficit of USD 512.3 million, compared to a surplus of USD 242.5 million in the corresponding period in 2022.

Correspondingly, the stock of foreign reserves declined to USD 4,695.9 million at the end of May 2023, from USD 5,206.7 million at the end of May 2022.

Despite the decline, the level of reserves remained adequate, covering 4.2 months of projected imports of goods and services, above the country benchmark of at least 4 months.


Exports of goods and services amounted to USD 12,616.7 million in the year to May 2023, higher than USD 10,777.9 million in the previous year, driven by service receipts and non-traditional exports.

Tanzania Goods Exports May 2023 (USD Millions)

Tanzania Exports Good May 2023

Non-traditional Goods and Mineral Exports

Non-traditional goods exports recorded an annual growth of 4.7% driven by manufactured goods and minerals, particularly gold, coal, and diamonds.

Export of coal increased by about four times to USD 233.7 million from USD 53.8 million, owing to growing demand for alternative energy, in the wake of supply challenges induced by the war in Ukraine.

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Exports of diamonds also edged up to USD 57 million from USD 19.4 million, because of price effects.

Gold exports increased to USD 2,883.9 million from USD 2,691.4 million, largely on account of volume effects.

Manufactured goods worth USD 1,466.4 million were exported during the year to May 2023, higher by 13.7% than compared to the corresponding period in 2022, mostly driven by cement and fertilizer.

Other Exports

Exports of traditional goods also increased to USD 761.7 million, from USD 721 million with all crops recording an increase, except cashew nuts, cloves, and tea.

On a monthly basis, traditional exports were USD 29 million, lower than USD 33.2 million in May 2022, whereas non-traditional exports increased to USD 594.9 million from USD 483.7 million in May 2022.

Service and Tourism Receipts

Services receipts increased to USD 5,228.4 million in the year ending May 2023, from USD 3,724.2 million in the corresponding period in 2022, largely explained by the rise in travel (tourism) and transport receipts.

Travel receipts increased by about two-thirds to USD 2,872.3 million, partly explained by a 51.3% rise in tourist arrivals to 1,609,303—the highest level reached historically—as the tourism sector continues to recover.

Tanzania Service & Tourism Receipts May 2023 (USD Millions)

Tanzania Service Tourism Receipts May 2023

On a monthly basis, service receipts also increased to USD 406.4 million compared with USD 334.8 million in May 2022.

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