Friday, May 10, 2019

Tanzania Bans the use of Plastic Bags

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In his speech during a budget session in the National Parliament of Tanzania the Prime Minister His Excellency Kassim Majaliwa announced that the last day to use plastic bags in Tanzania will be 31st May 2019 and from the 1st June no one will be allowed to produce, import, sell or use plastic bags. He called on the plastic producing industries in the country to diverse some other technology for carrying bags instead of plastics. He said he has directed the minister for environment and union from the Vice President’s office to include the ban in the existing environment law and make it a legal ban.

NCA Director has congratulated the government for stepping up the fight against plastic pollution in the country. He said NCA is impressed with the Tanzania government’s decision to ban the use of plastic bags and carriers which will be a big bust in the bid to protect the environment and natural resources.

“Plastic is a number one polluter of environment and a silent killer of our natural environment and resources than most people understand. This is because it takes more than a hundred years for a single plastic bag to decay. We are happy that Tanzania is among the very few African countries to ban the use of plastic bags and we will work hard toward supporting the government in the fight against plastic pollution”.

“We understand that the control of plastic pollution calls for all stakeholders’ participation in raising awareness and making sure that the ban is being effectively observed, we are therefore ready to work with the government to give expert advice whenever needed. Our initiatives will also be directed towards raising awareness to the Tanzania community as we believe an educated man is a wealthy man”. He said. 

 Tanzania joins about 13 countries in Africa that have either banned or introduced a levy on plastic bags to control and eventually stop its use.  In East Africa  Kenya introduced a complete ban on plastic last August  while in Uganda In 2007, a ban of lightweight plastic bags was introduced and came into effect that year. However, the ban was never implemented. Plastics even the countries with bans are still using them illegally.

Plastic which was introduced in Africa a generation ago has been reported to pollute both the seas and land at an alarming rate. According to EcoWatch Plastics affect all biological spectrum, including posing risks to human health and wildlife, the accumulation of these products has led to increasing amounts of environmental pollution around the world including Africa. About 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean's surface is believed to be emanating from plastics.

According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), half of all plastic produced is designed to be used just once and then discarded, resulting in mass amounts of chemically-laden debris landing in oceans and littering landscapes.

Please take note of the introduction of plastics ban in Tanzania as of 01 June 2019. #notoplastics #environment #environmentfriendly #savetheplanet #visittanzania #serengeti #tanzaniaunforgettable #utaliitanzania #supportthecause #saveenvironment #noplasticstanzania #keepgreen #savetheenvironment 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Tanzania: Make Tanzania Your Second Home, PM Tells Israeli Tourists

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Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa has called upon Israeli tourists to become Tanzania's ambassadors in and outside their home country by marketing the country's tourism sector.

Mr Majaliwa said this on the occasion bidding farewell to 274 Israeli tourists, part of the 1,000 tourists, who spent seven days in the country's national parks and Zanzibar.

The event took place at Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) yesterday before the tourists boarded their Israel Airlines planes back home.

The PM conveyed to the Israelis greetings from President John Magufuli and Vice-President Samia Suluhu Hassan, thanking them for making Tanzania their first tourism destination by visiting Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Arusha National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area and Zanzibar, among other tourist attractions.

He said the government would strengthen relations with Israel and called upon potential investors to come and invest in the tourism sector, as the country still had a lot of opportunities as it sought to unlock the tourism potential, especially in the southern circuit.

"Tanzania still has plenty of opportunities in the tourism sector and we call upon you to be our good ambassadors when you are back.

We welcome Israelis and other people in the world to come and invest in the sector of tourism, especially now that we want to unlock the southern circuit," said Mr Majaliwa.

The record number of tourists from one country at ago comes nearly two years since Tanzania opened its embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, thanks to the Tanzanian Embassy staff and Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) in collaboration with other stakeholders.

The visit saw planes bring them in the country on April 20, as 150 other Israelis left the country after seven days of the visit. The first group of the 1,000 tourists left on Friday night, the second yesterday afternoon, the third at 4pm and the last one at 8pm

The PM was flanked by Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, TTB Chairman Judge (retired) Thomas Mihayo, TTB Managing Director Devotha Mdachi, Kilimanjaro Regional Commissioner (RC) Anna Mghwira and Arusha RC Mrisho Gambo, among other leaders.

Mr Majaliwa called upon the tourists to be back in the country so that they could explore more opportunities and enjoy the nature in other national parks such as Gombe, Tarangire, Mkomazi, Saanane Island, Mikumi, Ruaha as well as the roof of Africa - Mount Kilimanjaro.

He hailed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his re-election to the post recently. The PM said the two countries enjoyed warm relations, pledging to further strengthen cooperation with Mr Netanyahu's government.

Speaking on the same occasion, Ms Mdachi said they were planning a visit to Israel and Jordan to further pursue their people to come for tourism purposes.

The director said they would also be seeking to bring journalists from the two countries that would be relaying messages and selling Tanzania in terms of tourist attractions when they were back.

She said attention would also be directed towards Asia and Europe and expectations were to get more tourists from next month, with about 300 Israelis on line.

Minister Kigwangalla pledged that the government and its people would continue protecting natural resources so Tanzania retained its place as one of the world's most attractive countries in terms of tourism.

He said the Israelis came in huge numbers at a time when the government was rebranding its tourism sector so that Tanzania was unforgettable.

Some of the tourists from Israel said they were greatly moved by tourist attractions they had visited and promised to be back in the future.

Ms Naomi Peer Moscovich and her daughters Dana and Lihi said were impressed with a huge number of wildlife as well as hospitality from Tanzanians.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Tanzanian Tour guides Oppose Mt Kilimanjaro Cable Car Project in fear of Losing Jobs

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Tanzanian tourism stakeholders come out in opposition of the unveiled plan to build cable cars on Mount Kilimanjaro, saying the project will cut jobs and eliminate the fun of hiking for days to the roof of Africa.

Key industry players namely tour operators, guides and porters strongly protest the proposed facility, saying climbing Kilimanjaro Mountain on foot is a lifetime experience that should never be compromised by cable cars.

The protest came few weeks when Constantine Kanyasu, Tanzania's Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism said that the Cable Car project is part of the government's latest strategy to woo tourists with over 50 years of age.

Mount Kilimanjaro Porters Society (MKPS) opposes the cable car product outright, saying it will deny employment to nearly 250,000 mountain porters scaling up Mount Kilimanjaro for a wage each year.

"Much as the cable car service doesn't require porters, majority of tourists will climb Mount Kilimanjaro on day trip basis using the new product to cut down costs and length of stay," said Edson Mpemba, MKPS Vice Chairman.

Mpemba wondered that decision makers had overlooked interests of the huge number of the unskilled labour force, which solely depends on the mountain to eke out a living.

"Think of the ripple effect on families of the 250,000 unskilled porters," he stresses, cautioning: "The cable car facility will initially look like a noble and innovative idea, but it will, in the long run, ruin the future of the majority of local people whose livelihood depends on the mountain."

Juma Salewa, a seasoned mountain tour guide also said that the glittering cable car product will contradict the country's conservation policy, as it will encourage mass tourism and become a major threat to the ecology of Mount Kilimanjaro.

He also said that tour operators are also worried over the cable car harshly affecting revenues in the long run, owing to the service significantly reducing the length of stay from eight to one day.

"Assume all 50,000 tourists hiking Mount Kilimanjaro a year opt for the cable car, the national park will get 4.1 million U.S. dollars as a fee, down from the current 55.3 million U.S. dollars," he said.

Betty Looibok, Chief Park Warden with Kilimanjaro National Park (Kinapa) said the cable car is but only one of several additional tourism products embedded into Mount Kilimanjaro's General Management Plan (GMP) in an effort to boost revenue.

"Cable car is for physically challenged persons and aged tourists who want to experience the thrill of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro up to Shira Plateau without wishing to reach the summit," she explained.

She further explained that the construction of the cable car will depend on the outcome of the environmental and social impact assessment study, which is currently underway.

According to her, plans for the cable car service on the Kilimanjaro Mountain are not entirely new; as the discussions date back to 1960s when the issue was raised but never materialized.

The feasibility plan in place will, however, bring the cable car one step closer to reality and make the mountain more accessible to special-needs groups than it has been so far.

Some of the 50,000 tourists conquering Mount Kilimanjaro peaks a year use one of the six separate walking routes to the roof.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Tanzanian National Park looks to Black Rhino for Promoting Tourism

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DAR ES SALAAM - Tanzanian authorities said on Friday they have planned to spend some 651,000 U.S. dollars in launching a black rhino tourism that will enable visitors to watch the endangered wild animals at close range.

The tourism promotional stint using the black rhino will be the first of its kind to be done in Tanzania, said Abel Mtui, the assistant conservation officer in the Mkomazi National Park, northeastern of the east African nation.

Currently black rhinos are being used in South Africa for tourism promotional venture.

Mtui said the Mkomazi National Park was in final stages of erecting an electric fence with a 1,000-square km-area where the black rhino will be kept, adding that tourists will be able to watch rhinos at close range beginning July this year.

He said increased poaching of black rhinos in the 1980s forced Tanzania to transfer some of its black rhinos to South Africa and the Czech Republic for their safety.

"Most of the rhinos were returned to Tanzania after concerted efforts to fight poaching paid dividends," said the official.

"After we had realized that most of the tourists wanted to see rhinos at close range we came up with this arrangement," said Mtui.

The 3,500-square-km Mkomazi National Park is located in northeastern Tanzania on the Kenyan border, in Kilimanjaro and Tanga regions. It was established as a game reserve in 1951 and was upgraded to a national park in 2006.

Tanzania Identifies, Digitizes 274 new Historical Sites to spur Tourism

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ARUSHA - Tanzania, has identified and digitized 274 new historical sites in the east African nation in a bid to boost the national coffers through tourism industry due to their national and international recognition, a senior official said on Monday.

Harrison Mwakyembe, Tanzanian Minister for Information, Culture, Arts, and Sports, said that the sites include pre-colonial chiefdoms and independence resistance heroes as well as graves of post-colonial chiefs, freedom fighters and colonizers from Germany and later the United Kingdom.

Others include the historic Majimaji war fighters and the source of water they used for ritual cleansing during the war.

"All these have been stored using the information and communication technology for future research activities and use by the coming generations," he said in an interview.

He added this is part of the Tanzanian government's move to achieve the 2-million-tourist target by 2020.

He added that identification and registration of statistics from the regional and district culture and heritage officers in the mainland was done to improve the regulations at the respective levels.

The minister also noted that Tanzania is the coordinator of heritage and liberation programme in Africa aimed at identifying, collecting and documenting the history of the continental liberation movements.

The minister revealed that Tanzania will in September 2019 host the regional East African Community Arts and Culture Festival, which aims to provide a platform to showcase culture as a primary catalyst to regional integration and sustainable development.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Tanzania: Chinese Firm to Invest in Tz Tourism Sector

CHINA National Travel Service Group Corporation (CTS) is planning to invest in Tanzania's tourism sector by constructing hotels on the Mainland and Zanzibar.

According to Tanzania's Ambassador to China, Mr Mbelwa Kairuki, the corporation will also help promote Tanzania's tourism industry through its websites and online travel platforms.

CTS Deputy Managing Director Dr Lu Youqing expressed the commitment to invest in the country during discussions he held with Ambassador Kairuki in Hong Kong over the weekend.

Dr Lu, who served as Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania for several years, said CTS had wide experience in the tourism industry, adding that it was in their best interests to spread the company's tentacles to Tanzania for the sectoral growth.

With over 200 tourist hotels, CTS, through its subsidiaries, engages in tourism culture, tourism, real estate, tourism finance, and related businesses in Hong Kong and internationally.

Among other activities, CTS operates 2,500 travel agencies and an online travel platform, owns and manages a network of hotels, operates a man-made theme park, leisure resorts, cross-border land and water passenger transport ships, a performing arts venue, and scenic cableway projects.

Others are duty-free shops in airports, onboard aircraft, borders, passenger terminals, train stations, foreign shipping supplies, diplomats, cruise ships, and cities.

At the end of last December, Tanzania launched a marketing campaign in China to attract business travellers and tourists from the Asian giant.

Senior officials of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the national airline and key tourism institutions visited China in December to market the country's attractions.

The officials visited Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Beijing. Records show in 2017, Tanzania received 30,000 Chinese tourists and in 2019 the country expects 10,000 more.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) already exists between TTB and Touchroad International Holdings Group of China to market Tanzania's tourist attractions in key Chinese cities.

China has cited eight African countries as suitable tourist destinations for the Chinese, among them Tanzania. Others are Kenya, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Mauritius and Zambia.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

French Eyes Tanzania’s Lucrative Tourism Sector

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The Travel and Tourism report on Tanzania noted that the country posted a revenue of USD 2178.0 from arrivals in 2017.

The the number grew by 9.5%, last year and the country is expected to attract some 1,347,000 international tourist arrivals this year. Travel and Tourism attracted capital investment of USD 318 million in 2017 which rose by 8.2% in 2018, and will continue to rise by 6.4% pa over the next ten years to USD 639 million come 2028.

According to the “African insights: Hotels outlook 2017-21” report published in 2016, Hotel occupancy and Average Daily Rates (ADR) are set to continue to climb over the next five years thanks to rising tourist arrivals. Both the government and private sector are seeking increased investment in the sector to meet growing demand and the diversification of the tourism sector.

“The sector will desperately need more accommodation space, including beach-front five-star hotels and lodges, but also to support large 3000-5000 visitor forums like exhibitions and conferences,” Jumanne Maghembe, then-minister of natural resources and tourism told press.

Barley a year after a delegation of French investors representing some 31 companies visited Tanzania, France has chosen Tanzania to be the first East African country to host its prestigious Goût de France. Hyatt Regency in Dar es Salaam Tanzania hosted the French Gastronomy Cuisine Festival on the 21st March themed around sustainability and green economies.

French ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Frédéric Clavier described the event as a sign of growing French-Tanzania relations.

“It celebrates and acknowledges the huge economic role played by the catering and hospitality industry,” he said.

He was keen to point out that gastronomy creates employment in the tourism and hospitality industries which are both key sectors for Tanzania as a major tourist destination. In fact Tanzania’s tourism sector represents over 12% of the country’s total employment. In this regard, as part of the French Cuisine celebration, some 30 Tanzanian chefs will get training under Chef Francois Lucchesi, who is among a delegation of French experts who have come to Tanzania to celebrate the event.

To meet the class and standards of the event the French Embassy has chosen to work with the global brand of excellence in catering and hospitality Hyatt Regency bringing to tropical East Africa, a taste of French cuisine. Addressing a media conference held mid-week in Dar es Salaam, Hyatt Regency General Manager Paris Etoile expressed his enthusiasm and readiness to host the fifth edition of the gourmet festival.

The Case Of Zanzibar:

As for Zanzibar alone, in 2018, some 433,474 tourists visited the island, while there are no readily available accounts of what percentage of those were from France, it is safe to assume that a good number were French. As is the case for the mainland, the tourism sector is a major source of employment giving jobs to more than 72,000 Zanzibarians, according to government statistics. The sector also brings in over 80 percent of the island’s foreign exchange and represents a quarter of Zanzibar’s GDP.

Last year, Zanzibar’s Minister for Information, Tourism and Heritage Mr. Mahmoud Thabit Kombo said they expect more than 500 000 tourists, hitting the mark a year before planned. a lot higher than the forecasted; the ruling party, Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s 2015-2020 Manifesto projected the half million number would be attained in 2020.

The minister said tourism in Zanzibar is growing at an impressive rate of 12 percent each year and as such, it is boosting the catering and hospitality sector each year.

“We need 5,000 more rooms to cater for high demand,” he told the press. That is good news for hotel and lodge investors as well as catering businesses.