Saturday, March 24, 2007

Tanzania pursues aggressive tourism plans

[Dar es Salaam, Tanzania]
ONCE you visit Tanzania, you really don't feel like leaving so soon. This country just grows on you. Why? Because there's tons of beautiful places, sites, parks and exotic beaches to visit. For example, when I was staying in Zanzibar, I had the pleasure of hanging out at Cholos (see pic below), which is a popular beach bar known by all the tourists. This place is sooo relaxing due to its beach setting and funky layout among the tall beach trees. And that's not all. I'd say TZ has got to be one of the safest countries in all of Africa. Well, that's the general word on the street from talking to other tourists, business peeps, expat hotel staff members, backpackers, etc.
Less is more
Also, you just don't see those crazy (almost shocking) front page horror stories that you read in most other newspapers or see on the idiot box (er TV) in other parts of Africa. I'm serious folks. To me, that's very refreshing. Yes, life isn't perfect here and crime does exist, but not at "those" levels, and the frequency is considerably less. Perhaps it has something to do with the laid back persona of the typical Tanzanian, which, by the way, is well known outside the country. I also noticed this in their police officers, too, which is a good thing. Any how, if TZ keeps up this track record, there's no doubt that Dar will eventually replace Nairobi as the economic hub of East Africa. Heck, have you seen all the construction going on in this city lately? Something's definitely cooking - economically. :-)

Mo' money
Most importantly, the country will be rewarded handsomely where it matters the most: At the ca$h register as tourists the world over flock here to explore its many treasures. Now, judging from this article below, the government is serious as hell about increasing earnings from tourism to the tune of US $3 billion per year starting in 3 years time. Wow, that's some serious coin. :-) As such, this makes yet another excellent Go Africa go! story because it highlights that tourism is going to be an even bigger income earner in the future, which translates into excellent business opportunities for those who cease the moment.

Article: Dar to increase tourism earnings
Source: Daily News (Tanzania), 22 Feb 2007, Home News, pg 2
By: Charles Kizigha
The government plans to carry out an aggressive tourism promotion campaign to
increase the earnings from 700m US dollars (about 900bn/-) to 3bn US dollars (about 4tr/-) accrued from the sector a year in the next three years. The campaign will involve advertising the country's tourism potentials on the America TV channels CNN and CNBC and also making sure there are direct flights to Tanzania from the US and Europe.

Minister for Natural Resources & Tourism, Prof. Jumanne Maghembe, said this yesterday before flying to the US for a ten-day official visit, where he would hold talks with CNN, CNBC, and Delta Airlines top officials and eventually sign contracts. He is leading a six-man delegation. He said that the government intends to spend 500m/- in the first six months to advertise on CNN and CNBC with an intention of targeting the US and Canada markets.

Prof Maghembe said that Tanzania would display a series of brochures showing the country's tourist attractions at the New York Times exhibition and a presentation will be conducted to selected travel agents and tour operators who feature Tanzania as a tourist destination. He said that the team would hold talks with Delta Airlines officials in Dallas on operating direct flights to Tanzania from the US. The minister said that the
tourism promotion is being carried out simultaneously with hotel expansion programme in order to cope with the anticipated increase of tourists from the current 612,000 a year to one million by 2010.


Max The IT pro said...

Well, I just arrived in Nairobi a few days ago and I'm MISSING Tanzania BIG TIME. I can't believe I've feel in LOVE - with a country. Arghhh! :-) Now if only I could pack it up and take it back to Canada so that all my friends can enjoy. After all, it would fit in nicely due to Canada's huge geographical footprint. lol.

Benin "Mwangi" said...

Max, I've heard the same thing about TZ, as far as the laid back aspect of it. -Must admit, though that it is a little difficult for me to see Dar surpassing Kenya as East African economic hub. 1) because the bulk of the investment inflows going into the members of the EAC come from Kenyan investors

2) because of the pace of business in Kenya and also the tremendous head start that the country has on all of its neighbors in terms of thinking (in most cases) like a free market economy.

Those are just two, but ythere is a flip side which i would agree with you on...Kenya is facing some intense competition from her neighbors, Uganda, TZ, and even Rwanda do llok like they are very serious about going after the title for the eco-hub of East Africa.

Again, another great post that caused me to think. Good job!

Max The IT pro said...

"1) because the bulk of the investment inflows going into the members of the EAC come from Kenyan investors"
But I was told by a senior accountant at PW that Tanzania had more foreign direct investment than Kenya. Also, I really hate to say this. But I think that Kenya's excessive corruption and its "crazy front page politics" are going to turn off investors...if that hasn't already happened. I just don't know, but when I'm in Dar, I feel so much optimism in the air. And I sense that anything is possible there from a business perspective because u don't have the government holding u back. Yes, that's it!!!

Thanks for your comment though. There's no doubt that Kenya's workforce has the upper hand. Plus, they speak English too.