Monday, August 19, 2019

9-Year-old Boy from Pune has Summited Mt Kilimanjaro

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In Summary
Before the Kilimanjaro Advait Bhartia had attempted the world’s highest mountain by reaching the base of the Everest.

Advait, who also successfully trekked to the Everest base camp as a boy of six in 2016, finished the summit in seven days.

"This trek was really difficult but fun at the same time. When I was submitting (sic) the Everest Base Camp, we were living in wooden houses but during the Kilimanjaro trek, we stayed in tents and it was a good experience being exposed to snow and the surroundings,” he said.

He added: I could have completed the trek faster but the mountains were very beautiful and I took a lot of breaks to take in the beauty.

Advait also has Europe's highest peak Mount Elbrus on his bucket list for next year, said.

He added that thin air, reducing atmospheric oxygen by approximately 50 percent, and sub-zero temperatures ranging between minus 21 and 25 degrees Celsius at higher altitudes were some of the challenges he braved during his expedition.

According to his mother Payal Bhartia, Advait underwent stringent training over a period of two months as he prepared for the climb.

"His routine included swimming for an hour, cardiovascular training like playing football, cricket, and tennis in the second hour and climbing 100 floors and practicing Parkour (military obstacle training) was a regular part of the training during the third hour," she added.

Payal, who accompanied her son during the hike, had to cut short her journey by 1000 ft on the way up as she was unable to acclimatize to the increasing altitude.

"I am very proud of Advait and his dedication towards completing this trek. On the last day, Advait got emotional and he individually thanked the porters, the tent pitchers and the catering team for all their efforts," she said.

But he is not the youngest, in 2017, 8-year-old Roxy Getter became the youngest woman ever to get to the summit Mount Kilimanjaro.

Keats Boyd previously became the youngest person to ever summit Mount Kilimanjaro when he was 7 years old.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Tanzania to Receive a batch of 120 Tourists, Investors from Hong Kong

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A DELEGATION of 120 tourists and investors from Hong Kong, China is expected to visit the country on Sunday, a senior official revealed on Tuesday.

Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Managing Director, Devota Mdachi revealed this when speaking at the just-ended one day Zhejiang-Tanzania Trade and Investment Forum that involved 25 businesspersons from Zhejiang province and Tanzanian businessmen.

The delegation will be in Tanzania following the roadshows that were conducted by TTB and other stakeholders in November last year in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shanghai to market destination Tanzania and investment opportunities available in the country.

While in Tanzania, the delegation will visit Ngorongoro crater, Serengeti national park, and other tourist’s attractions before participating in the business meeting in the country’s northern safari capital of Arusha.

The Arusha business meeting has been organized by TTB, Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF) and Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC).

“The idea is to help Hong Kong delegation see business and investment opportunities available in Tanzania that will attract them to make the decision to invest in Tanzania,” the TTB official said.

“As TTB we are happy for this delegation because our trip that was conducted in November last year in Hong Kong was very successful as it has brought about positive results to us because right now we have begun to get tourists from Hong Kong,” she noted.

While in Hong Kong, the TTB delegation which also included ATCL officials met 80 tour operators, media representatives and other groups of interest and discussed how they can collaborate to promote destination Tanzania and bring tourists from Hong Kong to Tanzania.

Mdachi said: “The Chinese tourists who visited the country in November were very impressed to see the massive tourist attractions that we have on offer including world heritage sites, cultural tourism assets, and beautiful sandy beaches.”

Speaking with Zhejiang businessperson who was attending the Zhejiang-Tanzania Trade and Investment Forum, the TPSF Executive Director, Godfrey Simbeye invited more Zhejiang people to invest in Tanzania in the tourism sector and other sectors to strengthen business links between Tanzania and Zhejiang province.

According to UNCTAD 2018, World Investment report, in 2017 the FDI inflow reached USD 1.18 billion that is equal to 2.3 percent of DGP,  making it among the 10 biggest recipients of FDI in Africa. The current FDI stock is estimated at USD 20.3billiion that is equal to 39% of GDP.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hong Kong Company signs Agreement with TTB to bring Tourists to Tanzania

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Dar es Salaam. A Hong Kong-based company Paper Communication Ltd has committed to bringing 130 tourists to Tanzania in November this year, Tanzania Tourists Board (TTB) today told The Citizen.

The agreement between the Chinese company and TTB was reached at the ongoing tourism exhibition in China that started last month.

In a statement released by TTB on Friday, tourists are hoping to visit some of the tourist attractions in the country during their visit and some who are businessmen will also look forward to the investment opportunities available in Tanzania.

Speaking at the event, the Company's representative Annie Wu said that the tour of 130 tourists is the result of the exhibition by TTB.

At the same time, TTB board chairman Rtd Judge Thomas Mihayo has also met Hanjin and HnaTour of South Korea that also promised to bring a sizeable number of tourists later this year.

Mr. Mihayo said tourists agents have agreed to come to Tanzania to negotiate with TTB as well as to look for opportunities to bring more tourists from South Korea to Tanzania.

Speaking after the signing of the pact with the company, TTB managing director Devota Mdachi said that through the Tanzanian embassy in Southern Korea is planning to organize a broadcast tour in the future where they will meet other South Korea companies.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Burigi-Chato National Park

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The newly-inaugurated national park will be the third largest wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania after Serengeti and Ruaha, according to Natural Resources and Tourism deputy minister Constantine Kanyasu.

Burigi-Chato, along with Ibanda-Kyerwa, and Rumanyika-Karagwe, were recently elevated from the status of the game reserve to that of the national park. This brings the total number of national parks in Tanzania to 19.

President Magufuli said Tanzania boasts of being a country with the largest ‘Protected Land Area’, covering some 361,594 square kilometers, which is 32 percent of its total area.

The Chato Member of Parliament, who doubles as the Energy Minister, Dr. Medard Kalemani, told those present that his constituency has become an investment hot spot, thanks to massive improvements in its infrastructure and the available resources.

He said considering the number of development projects being implemented in Chato, the area was poised for rapid growth that would position it to rise to city status in the coming few years.

“I want to send this message across the country that Chato is now a potential investment spot. We have developed roads, a huge airport of international standard, and soon we will be constructing a stadium, which will also be used as a tourist attraction. Most importantly Chato also has minerals,” he said.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

From Amsterdam to Kilimanjaro with Love: KLM’s First 787-10 Dreamliner Lands at KIA

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Royal Dutch Airline, KLM has deployed its first Dreamliner to Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) direct from Amsterdam, offering a ray of hope to a Tanzania’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry.

The new Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner, “Oranjebloesem” (Orange Blossom) registration PH-BKA, was delivered in Amsterdam on Sunday, June 30, 2019, and it's maiden scheduled flight was KIA or JRO on Tuesday, July 2, 2019.

Indeed, the maiden landing of the most touted luxurious plane at KIA, a major gateway to Tanzania’s northern tourism circuit, with 344 tourists from across Europe, has essentially graced the onset of the tourism high season.

It was greeted at KIA with a water salute after having successfully touched the JRO’s running way at 7:40 p.m East African Time, as the Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner, Dr. Annah Mghwira leading the crowd to cheer the historic landing of the aircraft.

KLM is the first European airline to operate this more sustainable and economical aircraft. The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner has the same efficient engines as the 787-9. The combination of these engines with the use of lighter materials in the 787-10 means it produces lower carbon emissions and less noise.

“The 787-10’s design is highly sophisticated, with large windows and a spacious interior providing much more room and comfort,” Captain Tom Van Hoorn told eTurboNews at KIA. KLM plans to have 15 Boeing 787-10s in its fleet by 2022.

Kilimanjaro Regional governor, Dr. Mghwira expressed Tanzania’s government appreciation to KLM for the great honor of deploying its first new Dreamliner to land at KIA with such considerable number of tourists at the onset of high tourism season.

“This is a vote of confidence from KLM and we are reciprocating in kind as we will ensure all holiday-makers are enjoying our attractions hustle free,” she explained, underscoring the need for tour operators to grab the opportunity for offering the tourists the best services.

For her part, Business Development Manager, Ms. Chirstine Mwakatobe from Kilimanjaro Airports Development Company (KADCO), an executive arm of the KIA, thanked KLM for bestowing the great honor on Tanzania.

Indeed recently, Tanzania picked, BAM International contracting firm of Netherlands, to execute what was billed as the largest overhaul ever, in its efforts to elevate KIA into a fully-fledged tourist’s gateway.

Financed by Tanzania and the Dutch governments at $39.7 million, the makeover project, saw all runways, apron, taxiways and passenger lounge modernized in a bid to offer holidaymakers a hassle-free trip to the country’s northern tourist’s circuit.

With increased traffic, demands for customer satisfaction, security concerns and growing competition, KIA has found it imperative to benchmark itself with pace-setting organizations, meeting and overcoming emerging challenges along the way.

The 47-year-old airport, which situated between Arusha and Kilimanjaro regions, has over the years undergone a series of touch-ups and renovations, but now has achieved world-class status with the makeover.

KADCO’s Mwakatobe said that the airport’s modernization included the expansion of the terminal buildings, increased the length and width of taxiways and runaways, expanded aircraft aprons as well as established other essential services at the terminal.

Ms. Mwakatobe further divulged that BAM also installed new airfield ground lighting and floodlights along with the aprons, resurfaced the runaways, and created continuous loop linking runways and taxiways to eliminate delays in landing and take-off.

Boasting an annual increase of 25 percent in passenger traffic, KIA management expects to handle nearly 1.2 million flying customers this year. Inaugurated for business in 1972, KIA was designed to handle just 200,000 passengers annually.

“Today is a special day as we receive the latest Dreamliner, the first to be operated by KLM and also KIA being the first airport for the aircraft to land,” Ms. Mwakatobe explained.

She attributes the improvement of KIA’s hard and soft infrastructures, as well as good rapport between the KLM and the airport as the key factors behind the deployment of Dreamliner B787-10.

Monday, June 24, 2019

TCT - Launches Partnership Strategy to Boost Country’s Tourism Sector

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THE Tourism Confederation of Tanzania (TCT) in collaboration with stakeholders has launched a partnership strategy to boost the country’s tourism sector growth and improve the quality of services as part of efforts to market destination Tanzania.

This was revealed on over the weekend by TCT executive secretary, Richard Rugimbana when launching the partnership strategy at the TCT headquarters in Dar es Salaam.

The strategy is designed to uplift the tourism sector in Tanzania to make perform similarly with other countries around the globe. It will market the available tourism attractions to lure more foreign tourists.

“Tourists are coming in Tanzania because of the quality services that we offer, we have the best tourists’ products such as Serengeti national park, Mt. Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro crater”, said Rugimbana insisting the improvement in services is due to training offered to stakeholders.

He commended the World Bank for supporting the government in improving the southern circuit tourism through the Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth Project (REGROW).

Through REGROW project, the southern circuit will be known worldwide as well as easy to reach because it involves improvement of infrastructures.

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr. Hamis Kigwangalla added that the new strategy will strengthen the partnership between the private and public sector.

“We are working with tourism stakeholders to identify the opportunities in the sector so that they are utilized”, said Dr. Kigwangalla adding the government is also working on the challenges stakeholders face to ensure smooth operations.

The Minister asserted that Tanzania targets to receive 500,000 tourists in the next season, calling for concerted efforts to attain the target. He said the government has invested in cruise ship tourism which is the fastest growing segment in the tourism sector so as to increase the number of visitors.

“We have so far received 11 cruise ships from different countries. Our target is to receive over 30 cruise ships per year”, he noted.

“I would like to assure you that my ministry is vigilant of the positive initiatives like this. We are endowed with a number of tourists attractions hence the need to market them accordingly”, he said.

He said the tourism sector accounts for 17 percent of the country’s GDP which is equivalent to 25 percent of the total export earnings.

The enormous economic importance of tourism, especially as an engine of employment, is to date visibly valid as it supports an estimated number of 500,000 direct jobs, he said.

Currently, the statistics show that the number of tourists that toured in Tanzania in 2018 stood at 1.3 million and the Government is targeting to attract 2 million tourists by 2020.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Tanzania Makes Tourism Country’s Top Priority

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Key players in Tanzania’s tourism and hospitality industry and the country’s National Assembly have agreed to work hand in hand in guaranteeing the industry with the due priority it needs for driving the national economy.

The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and Hotel Association of Tanzania (HAT) delegation recently engaged Parliament Speaker Job Ndugai in Dodoma in their latest attempt to lobby for fair treatment of the industry.

Thanks to the USAID PROTECT for building the capacity of TATO, an umbrella organization with over 300 members, it became an efficient advocacy agency for the tourism sector.

During their round-table discussion with the Speaker, the TATO and HAT team briefed Mr. Ndugai on a rough patch the multi-billion-dollar industry is passing through as a result of unfriendly and inconsistent policies.

“The industry needs the intervention of your august office now [more] than ever before,” the TATO Trustee and founder Chairman, Mr. Merwyn Nunes, told him.

A myriad of taxes and levies imposed on the industry were not only making the business environment unfriendly but also tagging Tanzania globally as a non-competitive tourism destination, Mr. Nunes explained.

Going by available records, a tour operator in Tanzania is subjected to 32 different taxes, including business registration, regulatory licenses fees, entry fees, income taxes, and annual duties for each tourist van.

Findings of a study on Tanzania’s tourism sector indicate that administrative burdens of completing the license tax and levy paperwork alone place a heavy cost on businesses in terms of time and money.

A tour operator, for instance, spends over 4 months to accomplish regulatory paperwork, let alone tax and license paperwork consuming a total of his 745 hours per year.

An average annual cost of personnel completing regulatory paperwork per local tour operator stands at $1,300 a year, the joint study by the Tanzania Confederation of Tourism (TCT) and BEST-Dialogue shows.

“We really need new ways and means, especially at policy-making levels, if the industry is to turn around the economy,” chipped in the TATO Vice-Chairman, Mr. Henry Kimambo.

The major concern of the HAT Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Nura-Lisa Karamagi, was over the Ministry of Livestock Development and Fisheries’ inspections embarrassing investors in hotels and campsites with unfair penalties for insignificant deficits.

Notwithstanding challenges facing the industry, tourism and hospitality earn Tanzania’s economy about $2.05 billion per annum, equivalent to 17 percent of the country’s GDP.

TATO CEO, Mr. Sirili Akko, said tourism is a sure way to turnaround the country’s economy because it is not consumptive.

“Tourists come just to see for their eyes and take photos and leave behind $2 billion annually. It is high time we give tourism its due attention for it to grow and spur other sectors of the economy,” Mr. Akko noted.

Speaker Ndugai expressed his gratitude to the TATO and HAT delegation for its initiative, as he pledged to support its bid of turning tourism into a national priority sector.

Mr. Ndugai called on TATO and HAT to sustain the partnership they forged with the House in a bid to resolve the investment climate hiccups and other challenges denying tourism national priority.

According to its national 5-year marketing blueprint, Tanzania anticipates hosting 2 million tourists by the end of next year, boosting its revenue from the current $2 billion to nearly $3.8 billion.