Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Tanzania Pass $1.7 Million Budget to Beef Up Tourism

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Government agency Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) has given the green light for proposed $1.7 million funds allocation to spice up the country's fastest growing sector. The industry has raked in millions of returns for the Government and had a positive economic impact on the country's GDP. Tourist arrivals in 2016 had soared by 12.9% to reach 1.2 million. The marketing strategy has panned out well for the sector.

TANAPA is looking to add more impetus to make the industry competitive regionally and continentally. Some of the funds will be used to support infrastructure development for ease transportation of the tourists in some areas where they are barely accessible. Upgrade of security to ensure that the lives of human beings and wild animals are secure and that both do not trespass against each other's territories.

At least five game reserves have been promoted to national parks and the parastatal could use some of the finances to beef them up. They include Biharamulo, Burigi, Kimisi, Ibanda and Rumanyika. It is vital to ensure their standards are at par to harvest as many tourists as possible and better the performance of the industry. This should guarantee better returns for the Government and good news to the country's GDP. They should also create employment opportunities for the communities around such as tour guides and game wardens.

As the Government makes such amendments, investors have been called upon to seize the business opportunities. The promotion campaign to gain the attention of tourists and investors in France, Italy and Germany should attract investors to the industry. Other development projects could use the investors' support and ease the financial burden on key stakeholders.

ALSO, READ: Tanzania beats South Africa as preferred tourist destination:

It is estimated that by 2028, Travel and Tourism could account for 795,000 jobs. The country has hosted a number of big names who have graced their presence to experience the wild of the country.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Tanzania Fastest Growing Destinations For Irish Tourist Revealed.

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Tanzania, the Maldives and Hong Kong have been revealed as the top three fastest growing tourist destinations booked with Ireland’s largest independent travel specialists, Travel Counsellors. Since last November, bookings for the east African country of Tanzania have risen by 399%; the Indian Ocean archipelago, the Maldives by 196%; and Hong Kong by 135%.

On the top European destinations list for bookings, Travel Counsellors reports Spain in first position, up 6% in bookings, followed by Italy, Portugal and France.

Long haul destinations in general are also up across the board, with Travel Counsellors today reporting that bookings for winter 2018/2019 have increased by 26%. Summer 2019 long haul is also up, rising by 345% when compared to the same booking period last year.

As it has done in the past few years, the USA is topping the long haul booking list for the coming year, and is up 30%. This is followed by Mexico (up 36%); Australia (up 14%); United Arab Emirates (up 53%); and South Africa (up 22%).

The Maldives is becoming increasingly popular with honeymooners, couples, and families. Travel Counsellors say many of the islands offer all-inclusive so what appears to be expensive at the outset, actually is good value for money as you have little to spend when you get there.

Commenting on the report, General Manager of Travel Counsellors Ireland, Cathy Burke said, "The strength of long haul travel is continuing, and this is being led by greater direct access options, better value, and the rising cost of holidaying in Europe. For these reasons, bookings in the past nine months for next summer have tripled when compared to the same period last year."

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Tanzania: Tourism Horizon Seems Bright for Tanzania and Kenya

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A recent report from a study by Pricewaterhouse Coopers International (PwC) indicates that, Tanzania and its immediate neighbour, Kenya, will record major boom in the hospitality industry from the current year, 2018, all the way to 2022.

According to the study titled 'Hotels outlook: 2018-2022', Kenya will benefit from a rebound in tourism, new hotels, its growing prominence as an experience destination, infrastructure upgrades, and the expectation of post-election political stability.

"We expect tourist arrivals to Kenya to increase 8.8 percent in 2018, building on the pickup in December 2017. Going forward, assuming a period of relative stability, we expect tourism to Kenya to increase at a 6.9 per cent compound annual rate, rising to 2.06 million in 2022 from 1.47 million in 2017."

The report stated. Tanzania's hotel room revenue amounted to US $206 million in 2017, which according to the report, was a decline of 5.5 percent compared to the previous 2016 record and this was 'due to a slight drop in the number of guest nights.

However, the report paints a rosy picture of the economy, projecting a growth of 10.2 percent for 2018 when the hospitality industry in the country is to once more escalate to even higher levels. Tanzania gets around 1.5 million visitors in a year.

The country's tourism industry is however concentrated in the Northern Zone Circuit pivoted in Arusha, whose travel industry radius covers Mount Kilimanjaro, the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti, Tarangire and Lake Manyara National Parks.

The Hospitality Industry Leader for PwC Southern Africa, Mr Pietro Calicchio, stated that tourism to the African continent has proven to be resilient in the face of economic and political uncertainty, impacts of droughts and other regulatory changes.

"The hotels and tourism sectors in each of the countries in our report are all showing signs of continued growth over the forecast period. Tourism remains an important part of each economy. However, the smallest change or disruption can have a fundamental impact on the future growth of each market," a statement from PWC reads.

Travel experts in Arusha are pointing out that Tanzania is in an even better position to fill its hotels to capacity because many residents from neighbouring countries of Kenya and Burundi like to tour the country.

The Chairperson for the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr Willy Chambulo, revealed recently that over 500,000 regular visitors to Tanzania are people from Mozambique, Bujumbura and Nairobi.

Mr Chambulo, who also runs a tour company and variety of tourist hotels, explained that out of the average 1.5 million tourists coming to Tanzania on annual basis, 535,870 are people coming from countries within the African continent itself.

"Kenya, as it seems, leads the pack by bringing here 198,000 leisure visitors, while Burundi follows with 48,210 tourists and Mozambique contributing around 45,000 visitors," he said, adding: "As it happens, Kenya, with nearly 200,000 Tanzania-bound tourists, tops the list among countries that bring more visitors here, beating even the United States of America (USA) which sends here around 110,000 tourists every year.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Tanzania Tourism Toasts Effects of Tax Relief

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Tourism players in Tanzania are likely to raise their glasses to toast for remarkable earnings this year, thanks to the state for granting them a tax relief in a bid to spur industry growth.

In the 2018/19 budget tabled in parliament on Thursday last week, the Finance Minister, Dr. Phillip Mpango proposed to scrap off import duty on various tourist’s vehicles in an effort to stimulate the development of key sector of the economy.

Tourism is Tanzania’s largest foreign exchange earner, contributing an average of $2 plus billion annually, which is equivalent to 25 percent of all exchange earnings, the government data indicate.

Tourism also contributes to more than 17 percent of the national gross domestic product (GPD), creating more than 1.5 million jobs.

“I propose to amend the fifth schedule of the East African Community – Customs Management Act, 2004 in order to provide import duty exemption on various types of motor vehicles for transportation of tourists” Dr. Mpango tabled before the National Assembly in the country’s capital city of Dodoma.

The vehicles that would be imported duty-free in July 1, 2018 once the amended law comes into force include Motor Cars, Sight Seeing buses and overland trucks, which are imported by, licensed tour operators and must meet specific conditions.

“The objective of this measure is to promote investments in the tourism sector, improve services, create employment and increase Government revenue” he told the ongoing parliament.

Chairman of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Wilbard Chambulo was moved by the state to waive the import duty, saying the tax exemption is a sigh of relief to its members, as it will save them $9,727 for each imported tourist vehicle.

“Imagine before this relief some tour operators used to import up to 100 new vehicles at ago and pay $972,700 as import duty alone. Now this money would be invested to expand the company to create more jobs and revenues” Mr Chambulo explained.

It is understood, TATO had fought consistently for this to happen, and now its chief is grateful to the government for being considerate to their consistent scream, terming this move as a win-win deal.

Available records indicate that tour operators in Tanzania are subjected to 37 different taxes, comprising business registration, regulatory licenses fees, entry fees, income taxes and duties for each tourist vehicle per annum, among others.

The TATO chairman argued that the contentious issue is not only how to pay myriad taxes and make profits, but also the modality and time spent in complying with intricate taxes.

“Tour operators need streamlining of taxes to ease compliance because the cost of compliance is so high and as such it acts as obstacle for voluntary compliance” Mr Chambulo explained.

Indeed, a study on Tanzanian tourism sector indicates that the administrative burdens of completing license tax and levy paperwork place a heavy cost on businesses in terms of time and money.

For instance, tour operator spends over four months to complete regulatory paperwork, whereas in tax and license paperwork consume his or her a total of 745 hours per year.

The report done by Tanzania Confederation of Tourism (TCT) and BEST- Dialogue, shows that average annual cost of personnel to complete regulatory paperwork per local tour operator is Tsh 2.9 million ($1,300) per year.

Tanzania is estimated a home to over 1,000 tour companies, but official data shows that there are as few as 330 formal firms complying with tax regime, which is likely to be due to the complexities of compliance.

This means that there could be 670 briefcase tour firms operating in Tanzania. Going by the annual license fee of $2000, it means that treasury loses $1.34 million annually.

However, the Finance Minister, Dr. Mpango also promised through the budget speech that the government is to introduce a single payment system where businessmen would be paying all taxes under one roof to offer them a hassle-free taxes compliance.

Dr. Mpango also scrapped off the various fees under Occupational, safety and Health Authority (OSHA) such as fees imposed on application form for registration of working places, levies, fines related to fire and rescue equipment, compliance license and consultancy fees of shillings 500,000/- ($222) and 450,000 respectively ($200).

“The Government will continue to review various Levies and Fees imposed by Parastatal Organizations, Institutions and Agencies with a view to improving business and investment environment” the Minister told the Parliament.

TATO CEO, Mr Sirili Akko is optimistic that if the budget would be endorsed by the Parliament and implemented the way it is, it would open up more opportunities for investors who in turn would unlock the tourism potential.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Tanzania: National Parks to Get International Certification for Improved Tourism

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Arusha — The Tanzania National Parks is gearing towards getting the International Standards Organisation (ISO) certification for improved service provision in its tourism division.

Speaking in an interview with the Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) television, the Director General for TANAPA, Dr Allan Kijazi said the process to acquire ISO certification has reached promising levels and that once National Parks gets this accreditation, the country's tourism industry profile will reach higher levels.

TANAPA plans to record 1.03 million tourists that are expected to visit its National Parks this year and that in the course of next year, at least 1.14 million tourists will sample the attractions. The institution contributes 37bn/- to the national coffers from its tourism activities and targets to increase this reach 45bn/- in the coming fiscal year 2018/19.

Tanzania receives around 1.4 million tourists per annum, but 90 per cent of this traffic usually heads to the well-known Northern Zone attractions of Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Crater.

The Tanzania National Parks itself oversees a total of 16 Game Parks in the country but its cash cows are mainly the Serengeti National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks.

To offset that dependency onto the Northern Zoon Circuit, TANAPA has jumped onto the government's bandwagon to open up the Southern Circuit through the 'Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW) Project.

Launched recently, the REGROW project targets to strengthen the management of protected areas and promote nature-based tourism in Southern Tanzania, in the tourism precinct known as the 'Southern Circuit' and contribute to the diversification of livelihoods in selected communities.

"We are starting with the aggressive promotion of Ruaha, which is the country's largest National Park; Mikumi and Udzungwa Mountains," explained Dr Kijazi. He assured that poaching activities in his parks have almost disappeared and some of the existing conflicts between members of the local communities and management of National Parks are in the process of being solved amicably.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Kilifair and Karibu Tourism fair about to Open in Mount Kilimanjaro

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Fabulous and premier tourism exhibition the Kilifair and Karibu Tourism fair is set for grand opening Friday this week with expectation to attract attracted more than 400 exhibitors from key tourist markets of Africa, United States and Europe.

The Kilifair and Caribou tourism exhibition organisers said that the event had attracted over than 280 tour companies from countries such as USA, Canada and South Africa.

Organised by KILIFAIR Promotion Company, the premier tourism exhibition will take place from June 1st to 3rd in Moshi on the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, northern Tanzania.

Carrying a banner of “Your Gateway to East Africa Tourism”, the fabulous tourism exhibition is expected to provide  a networking platform for stakeholders from around the world to share experiences, establish new business relations and improve existing contacts, organizers said.

Organisers said the premier KILIFAIR 2018 tourism exhibition represents promotion of the Kilimanjaro region the home of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa before the world through potential agents and buyers from Europe, America, Africa and Asia.

More than 4,000 visitors are expected to visit the three day event tourism fair which has become the biggest and most important Tourism Trade fair in East Africa. Tourist Boards from Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and Kenya have confirmed to participate in the fair.

About 100 foreign exhibitors are expected to participate the three-day exhibition that will boost Tanzania and East African tourism at regional and international levels.

Through a partnership with other regional tourist and travel trade exhibition organisers, KILIFAIR team is as well, expected to attend major fairs including the Magical Kenya, Pearl of Africa Uganda, WTM London, ITB Germany and WTM Africa in Cape Town.

Director from KILIFAIR promotions chief executive Tom Kunkler said the premier fair has introduced another indoor Tourism Expo in Tanzania and East Africa.

KILIFAIR and KARIBU Fair have recently joined into a single tourism and travel exhibition entity, targeting to market the African tourism on the foot hills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tourist icon.

The two travel trade show organizers, KARIBU Fair and KILIFAIR have recently joined into a single tourism exhibition with organizers expecting to pull in more partners and key players in the tourism industry across East Africa and the entire African continent.

Under such a special arrangement, KARIBU Fair and KILIFAIR will annually alternate between Moshi and Arusha, then two sister tourist capitals in East Africa. The other such joint tourism fair will take place in Arusha next year, the Executive Secretary of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), Mr. Siril Akko, said.

He said the two travel trade organisations have aimed to create the largest and most important tourism trade fair in East Africa under one roof.

The KARIBU Travel and Tourism Fair (KTTF) was established about 15 years ago with high-end success in tourism development through its annual shows in Arusha.

Standing as the most competitive and dedicated travel market that brings the Eastern and Central African region and the world under one roof, providing overseas tour agents with an ideal platform to maximize their networking opportunities, KARIBU Fair has been listed among competitive travel shows taking place in Africa.

KILIFAIR stands as the youngest tourism exhibition entity to be established in East Africa, but, has had succeeded in making a record-breaking event by attracting a magnitude number of tourism and travel trade stakeholders.

Mount Kilimanjaro is the leading tourist attraction in East Africa and pulls in crowds of visitors all year round. The annual fairs include days of business networking and workshops for the tourism industry aiming to boost Tanzania tourism, as well as tourism in the Kilimanjaro region, a fast-growing locality on the African continent.

Attracting exhibitors from different African countries, the premier KILIFAIR Exhibition takes place in May or June every year, drawing a sizeable number of exhibitors, travel trade visitors, buyers and sellers from various corners of Africa, as well as guests from other parts of the world.

Moshi and Arusha are the leading safari capitals in Tanzania, taking advantage of the premier wildlife parks including Ngorongoro, Serengeti, Tarangire, Lake Manyara, Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Govt Directives Harming Tanzania's Tourism Sector

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Tanzania's Parliamentary Standing Committee on Lands, Natural Resources and Tourism said on Monday that a decision by the government to revoke tourist hunting permits has discouraged investment in the key sector.

Reacting to budget proposals from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism yesterday, members of the committee told the National Assembly in the capital Dodoma that the move also violates wildlife laws and is a setback to growth of the industry.

Nape Nnauye, the House team chairperson, said the decision to revoke the tourist hunting permits is against the 2009 Wildlife Act and has made investors jittery.

"Section (38) of the Wildlife Conservation Act states that the lasting period for a hunting license is five years, but the ministry revoked the licenses three years before the lawful tenure," he said.

"An analysis by the committee has established that various statements by the ministry on the hunting blocks were against laws and not only did the statements discourage investors but they also subjected the government to losses in revenues."

Vunjo Member of Parliament, James Mbatia, also linked slower growth of the sector to arbitrary State directives that caused uncertainty. He pointed out that tourist arrivals had been increasing by about 13 per cent between 2012 and 2016 but grew by just three per cent in 2017.

"This is definitely caused by haphazard announcements and directives issued by the government," said Mr Mbatia today. He also noted that tour operators in Tanzania were over-taxed, saying it was a burden to sector stakeholders.

Hunting debate

The legislators' remarks are only the latest in a years-long debate on the contentious subject of trophy hunting.

Tourism Minister Hamisi Kigwangallah revoked all tourist hunting permits in October last year saying the licences would be re-applied through auction. In September 2015, the Tanzanian government came under pressure to suspend legal hunting but said it did not believe the practice had fuelled wildlife poaching.

Former Tanzania Hunting Operators Association chairman Eric Pasanisi said the proposed suspension of trophy hunt tourism will adversely affect wildlife conservation, as a large chunk of conservation funds come from the activity widely condemned by conservationists.

The neighbouring country has allowed trophy hunting over the years while Kenya banned the activity in the 1970s.

While licenced trophy hunters argue that it helps in the conservation of game such as elephants and lions, environmentalists say cash from controlled hunting safaris employs few Tanzanians and that earnings from it aren't significant enough to local communities to justify killing wildlife.

Apart from Tanzania, game hunting is also legal in Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.