Tanzania seeks to be Africa’s tourism hub - CNBC Africa

Tanzania seeks to be Africa’s tourism hub

East Africa

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

Tanzania’s tourism revenues could increase fourfold in the next 10 years and also create more jobs, this is according to the World Bank.

The industry could generate 16 billion US dollars by 2025 up from 4.48 billion US dollars, the bank revealed in its report, ‘Unlocking the Potential of the Tourism Industry for Tanzanians.’

(READ MORE: Kenya & Tanzania's tourism tiff)

According to the World Bank, for the East African country to achieve this tremendous growth, the government should focus on streamlining its system of taxes and fees as well as make its revenue allocations ‘more transparent’.  

“This target is indeed achievable but only if there is a change in policies and mindsets among all stakeholders,” Jacques Morisset, World Bank Lead Economist said in a statement

Philippe Dongier, Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda said, “There is potential for further growth as also emphasized by the Government; and some of the needed reforms are quite urgent as the status quo could be costly for the country.”

(READ MORE: One visa for East African travel)

The government is already on track to re-brand the country as Africa’s leading tourist and business destination. The country has set aside 1.5 million US dollars in a bid to revive the sector through advertorials in local and international media houses promoting the country’s scenic tourism destinations.

According to one of Tanzania’s local dailies CNN and BBC will be tasked to air the advertorials worldwide and are optimistic this will boost tourist arrivals. Tanzania is looking to double its tourist numbers to 2.5 million annually.

“There is no doubt Tanzania is in a good place with tourism and yet could do considerably better. Tanzania has abundant natural tourism attractions and is well recognized internationally including,” Dongier said.

“The country received one million visitors in 2013 bringing in 1.5 billion US dollars in foreign exchange earnings, which is remarkable by any account.”

The sector is reported to employ about half a million people. With this in mind, the World Bank has encouraged Tanzania to diversify its tourism activities in other parts of the country as well as develop these sites. Currently, Arusha and Zanzibar account for more than three quarter of tourism activities.

“The report recommends realizing other opportunities, especially in the South, and developing attractions and activities that cater to tourists on more modest travel budgets, including more local and regional visitors,” the bank said.