Tan­za­nia woos tourists to parks

The East African - - BUSINESS - By APOLINARI TAIRO Spe­cial Cor­re­spon­dent

TAN­ZA­NIA PLANS to up­grade five widlife re­serves to na­tional parks in or­der to raise the num­ber of tourists vis­it­ing the coun­try from 1.3 mil­lion per year to eight mil­lion by 2015 and rev­enue up from the cur­rent $2.2 bil­lion.

Min­is­ter for Nat­u­ral Re­sources and Tourism Hamisi Kig­wan­gala said the num­ber of parks un­der the trustee­ship and man­age­ment of the Tan­za­nia Na­tional Parks will rise to 21.

Tan­za­nia has four tourist zones — the North­ern, Coastal, South­ern and Western Cir­cuits. The wildlife re­serves set for de­vel­op­ment are Kibisi, Bi­hara­mulo, Bu­rigi, Ibanda and Ru­manyika, part of the Western Tourist Cir­cuit near the shores of Lake Tan­ganyika and Lake Vic­to­ria.

“We are tar­get­ing the parks out­side the North­ern Tourist Cor­ri­dor,” Dr Kig­wan­gala said.

In its drive to at­tract three mil­lion tourists over the next two years, the coun­try is fo­cus­ing on new emerg­ing mar­ket sources in South­east Asia, the Pa­cific Rim and South Amer­ica.

Tan­za­nia Tourist Board man­ag­ing direc­tor Devota Mdachi told The Eastafrican that they are look­ing at China, In­dia, Rus­sia, Turkey, Brazil and the United Arab Emi­rates.

She said the board is im­ple­ment­ing the In­ter­na­tional Tourism Mar­ket­ing Strat­egy, a doc­u­ment that was com­piled and launched five years ago, to mar­ket tourism at a global level through pub­lic and pri­vate part­ner­ship ini­tia­tives.

Of­fi­cials from the Tan­za­nia Tourist Board said plans to de­velop tourism have been directed to the South­ern Cir­cuit with the sup­port of the World Bank and the United Na­tions De­vel­op­ment Pro­gramme. Last year, the World Bank ap­proved Tsh340.5 bil­lion ($150 mil­lion) for tourism de­vel­op­ment in south­ern Tan­za­nia. The Re­silient Nat­u­ral Re­source Man­age­ment for Tourism and Growth project will run for six years.

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