TANZANIAINVEST has been interviewing Mr. Ali Khalil Mirza, Marketing Director of the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism (ZCT), to learn about the current Zanzibar tourism sector…
Tanzania’s tourism is the country’s primary foreign exchange earner generating USD 2.4 billion in 2018 versus USD 2.2 billion in 2017, marking an increase of 9.1%.
Revenues from tourism in Tanzania reached USD 2.43 billion in 2018, up 11% from USD 2.19 billion in 2017.
International tourist arrivals reached 1.4 million in 2018, compared to 1.3 million in 2017 and 754,000 in 2010.
Europe accounted for the largest share of arrivals in 2017, followed by Asia and the Pacific, the Americas, Africa, and the Middle East.
Tanzania´s hotel occupancy rate was estimated at 53.8% in December 2019 compared to 44.9% in December 2018.
Tanzania’s tourist attractions fall into 2 main categories: wildlife and beach.
Tanzania Wildlife & Beaches
Tanzania’s wildlife resources are considered among the finest in the world. Tanzania is the only country, which has allocated more than 25% of its total area for wildlife national parks and protected areas.
There are 16 National Parks in Tanzania, 28 Game Reserves, 44 Game controlled areas, 1 conservation area and 2 Marine Parks.
Tanzania boosts many of Africa’s most renewed destinations; in the north the Serengeti plains, the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Manyara, and Mount Kilimanjaro, and in the south Mikumi and Ruaha National Parks and the Selous Game Reserve.
According to a survey conducted by SafariBookings.com, Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park was voted Africa’s best safari destination for 2020, followed by Mana Pools (Zimbabwe), Mala Mala (South Africa), Okavango Delta (Botswana), and Lower Zambezi (Zambia).
Mount Kilimanjaro was declared Africa’s leading tourist attraction in 2016 during the World Travel Awards Africa and Indian Ocean Gala Ceremony in Zanzibar.
Other additional natural attractions include the white sandy beaches of the Zanzibar archipelago, of north and south of Dar es Salaam, and excellent deep-sea fishing at Mafia and Pemba Islands.
Tanzania is prized for its superb trophy hunting (sport hunting or safari hunting).
Hunting in Tanzania is presently permitted and regulated by the Wildlife Conservation act of 2009, and its subsidiary regulations.
The hunting industry has grown considerably in the last two decades and Tanzania is among the leading hunting destinations in the world.
Hunting and Forestry jointly contribute 2 to 3 % of the GDP of Tanzania. Given there is such commitment to the conservation and protection of the wildlife, it may be surprising to note that, unlike neighboring Kenya, hunting still occurs in Tanzania.
However, there is in fact no contradiction, as hunting in Tanzania is part of the wildlife conservation process, as it is done in a much planned manner. Counts of wildlife are taken on a regular basis and hunting licenses are issued accordingly.
Investments in the Tanzanian Tourism Sector
The Tanzanian Government is engaged with developing and promoting sustainable growth on the travel and tourism sector in Tanzania, in order to preserve its natural and cultural resources.
The Government, therefore, is focused in attracting high-income tourists whom are less likely to spoil the culture and the natural environment.
In 2019, Tanzania’s Ambassador to China, Mr. Mbelwa Kairuki, disclosed that the China National Travel Service Group Corporation (CTS) is planning to invest in Tanzania’s tourism sector by constructing hotels on the mainland and Zanzibar.