Tanzania’s tourism sector generated USD 1.4 billion in revenues in 2021, versus USD 1 billion in 2020 when it was severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on international travel, and 2.6 billion in 2019.
The sector’s contribution to GDP fell from 107% in 2019 to 5.3% in 2020.
In 2021, the number of tourist arrivals reached 922,692, equivalent to an increase of +48.6% from a 620,867 in 2020 when the world was first hit by Covid-19 and many countries-imposed travel restrictions.
This is still less than the record 1,5 million tourists who visited Tanzania in 2019, 1.4 million in 2018, and 1.3 million in 2017.
Europe traditionally accounts for the largest share of arrivals, 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 Tourist Arrival in 2022
In the period January to July 2022, a total of 742,133 tourists visited Tanzania.
This is an increase of 285,867 tourists, equivalent to +62.7% compared to 456,266 tourists who entered the country during the similar period in 2021.
In 2022, the number of tourist arrivals is expected to increase more than the number of tourists recorded before the Covid-19 pandemic due to the Government’s efforts to promote tourist attractions such as national parks, beaches, and Mount Kilimanjaro and game reserves.
In this regard, in April 2022 Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu Hassan unveiled the “The Royal Tour” documentary while promoting FDIs during her official visit to the US.
Filmed throughout Tanzania in 2021, it features Emmy Award-winning journalist Peter Greenberg traveling to Tanzania with President Hassan.
She’s the ultimate guide for a week, exhibiting Tanzania’s history, culture, environment, food, and music, as well as telling the stories of Tanzania’s hidden jewels.
Tanzania Tourism Revenues and Arrivals in 2021
In 2021, the number of tourist arrivals reached 922,692, signaling a revamp in tourism activities.
Revenue from tourism activities reached USD 1,396.34 million in 2021.
Tanzania Tourism Revenues and Arrivals in 2020
In 2020, travel receipts declined by 59.2% to USD 1,06 billion explained by measures taken by most countries to limit the spread of COVID-19, which included lockdown and suspension of international passenger flights.
Accordingly, the number of international tourist arrivals declined to 616,491 in 2020.
In October 2021, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism of Tanzania 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 areas that have been most affected by the pandemic and these implementations will boost tourism and increase its contribution to the national economy.
Tanzania’s incredibly rich natural tourism offer earned it the title of “Africa’s Leading Destination” in 2021.
The natural attractions fall into two 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 to 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 boasts 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 in developing and promoting sustainable growth in the travel and tourism sector in Tanzania, in order to preserve its natural and cultural resources.
The Government, therefore, is focused on attracting high-income tourists who are less likely to spoil the culture and the natural environment.
Last Update: 29th August 2022
Sources: Bank of Tanzania (BoT), Statista, Tanzania Immigration Department, Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), World Bank (WB).