On 17th October 2021, the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism of Tanzania Dr. Damas Ndumbaro has detailed how the funds allocated to tourism-part of the IMF loan to the country-will be used.
The Ministry has been granted TZS 90 billion for the financial year 2021-2022, which is equivalent to 6.9% of the whole IMF loan of TZS 1.3 trillion in emergency financial assistance to support Tanzania’s efforts in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ministry will focus on the five areas that have been most affected by the pandemic and these implementations will boost tourism and increase its contribution to the national economy.
1. Support the Ministry Institutions. TZS 71.9 billion.
The amount will be allocated in the following:
i. Rehabilitation of 4,881 km of roads in protected areas (Serengeti, Katavi, Mkomazi, Tarangire, Nyerere, Kilimanjaro, Saadani and Gombe, Ngorongoro Conservation Area). TZS 23.4 billion.
ii. Install electronic tracking systems for the monitoring of heavy machinery and vehicles in conservation areas. TZS 1 billion.
iv. Build five reception gates in the Likuyu Sekamaganga and Msolwa areas in Nyerere Game Reserve, Mkomazi Game Reserve, Swagaswaga Game Reserve and Kijereshi Game Reserve. TZS 10.2 billion.
iii. Rehabilitation of eight airports in the National Parks: Serengeti, Nyerere, Tarangire, Mkomazi, Saadani, and Katavi. TZS. 3 billion.
v. Construction and rehabilitation of infrastructure in 13 national parks: Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Mkomazi, Arusha and Kilimanjaro, Burigi-Chato, Ibanda-Kyerwa, Rumanyika-Karagwe, Kigosi and Rubondo and Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tarangire and Nyerere. TZS 21 billion.
vi. Purchase a special glass boat for marine tourism to be used in Kilwa Island. TZS 500 million.
vii. Rehabilitation of tourist infrastructure including roads and tourist information centers in 11 reserve forests and six national parks for the development of photo tourism. TZS 8.5 billion.
viii. Building and rehabilitating infrastructure in the Kilombero Game Reserve and Mkungunero and Moyowosi Game Reserves. TZS. 2.1 billion.
ix. Strengthen the quality control of tourism services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. TZS.1,9 billion.
2. Tourism Promotion. TZS 13.3 billion.
(i) Renovation of seven Cultural Heritage Centers in Mikindani Mtwara, Tendaguru-Lindi, Kua-Mafia Ruins, Mbua Maji Mbweni Mosque, Cemeteries and Port Mosque and Kimbiji – Dar es Salaam. TZS 2,4 billion.
ii) Construction of a tourism reporting center in the Burigi-Chato National Park at the Gate of Major General Kijuu. TZS 300 million.
iii) Procurement of equipment for a digital tourism information center to facilitate the promotion of tourism through social media and websites. TZS 568 million.
iv) Expand the scope of The Royal Tour documentary program. TZS 6 billion.
v) Facilitate two international exhibitions. TZS 4 billion.
3. Strengthening the Tourism Business Environment. TZS 1.8 billion.
The activities to be implemented include: strengthening the availability of COVID-19 vaccines and testing equipment; creating awareness among tourism operators on guidelines to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
Engaging the Private Sector. TZS 1.3 billion.
Capacity building to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. The activities to be implemented include: procurement and distribution of equipment to tourism industry stakeholders for protection against the COVID-19 epidemic and providing training on how to use the relevant medical equipment; training and various strategies to tourism industry stakeholders in the worst affected regions including Mtwara, Ruvuma and Lindi, Njombe, Mbeya, Mara and Mwanza.
Strengthen the Digital Tourism Data Systems. TZS 1.8 billion.
Improving the tourist information and statistics systems by conducting research on the use of tourism activities to identify the contribution of the tourism industry to Tanzania’s GDP.
All these plans are meant to be implemented and completed within the 2021-2022 financial year, Minister Ndumbaro stressed.
However, key players in tourism in Tanzania are against the proposed expenditure of the funds and believe they should be used instead as a stimulus package to achieve quick recovery of their industry.
The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) insists that the funds should be used to subsidize entry fees to the national parks, provide cheap loans to tour operators for renovations and new investments, reduce VAT on tourism, and allow Tanzania Tourists Board (TTB) to increase marketing and promotion activities.
Tourism is Tanzania’s primary foreign exchange earner. The sector was severely hit in 2020 after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a record of 1.5 million international tourist arrivals in 2019 and USD 2,604.5 million in tourism revenues, in 2020 arrivals fell to 616,491, and travel receipts declined by 59.2% to USD 1,061.6 million.
However, in July 2021 monthly services receipts increased to USD 253.5 million, compared with USD 140.2 million in July 2020, attributed to an increase in travel receipts, suggesting a gradual pickup of tourism activities from last year.