The National Assembly of Tanzania was recently told that the government had collected a total of TZS 61.2 billion during the 2007/2008 fiscal year in Tanzania tourism revenues that were generated from the country’s national parks, which represents an overall increase of 6.1 percent from the previous fiscal year.
In a recent budget speech the Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Shamsa Mwangunga, indicated that the recent improvement in the revenues that were generated by the increased revenues that had been collected by the country’s national parks could be attributed to the efforts that her ministry had done to promote tourism both nationally and abroad.
“In 2006/07 the revenue we collected from national parks was TZS 58.3 billion from 557,370 tourists,” said Ms. Mwangunga, “This is a good improvement which has been brought about by the ministry’s efforts to promote the country’s tourism in and outside the country together with the improvement of national parks’ infrastructure.”
According to Ms. Mwangunga, between last July and March of this year, Tanzania received 617,776 tourists in the country’s various national parks.
Ms. Mwangunga went on to indicate that between these same months the Ngorongoro, specifically, had collected TZS 31.9 billion in revenues and had received 426,230 visitors, of which 181,851 locals and 244,379 were foreigners.
As reported in a recent report by the Guardian, the shadow minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Magdalena Sakaya (Special Seats, CUF), said the while the Tanzania tourism sector was crucial to the country, it was not yet contributing as much to the country’s overall gross domestic product as it was in neighboring countries.
According to Ms. Sakaya, because of the need for improved infrastructure, many tourists, who had intended to visit the national parks in Tanzania, landed in Kenya and spent the majority of their time there while only briefly passing through Tanzania.
“Take Masai Mara, for example,” said Ms. Sakaya, “Its 2006/07 revenue was USD 750 million while our Serengeti`s revenue was USD 30 million – a difference of USD 720 million, which is equivalent to TZS 864 billion.”
Nevertheless, Ms. Mwangunga indicated to the House that, during the current fiscal year, she expects the revenues collected to continue to improve as indicated by the TZS 42,336,858,035 that are anticipated to be generated by tourism receipts to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority.
During her speech, Ms. Mwangunga requested that the House endorse a budget of TZS 71,975,518,000 to cover the ministry’s regular expenditures as well as an additional TZS 33,799,851,000 for planned expenditures in development.