Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Tanzania Targets Chinese Tourist Market

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Tanzania is now targeting China as a new and an upcoming lucrative tourist market source in South East Asia after the traditional tourist market sources of Europe, North America and South Africa. A team of senior officials from Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Ministry of Tourism, tourist companies and other stakeholders visited China in November 2018 to market Tanzania’s tourism in Beijing and other leading, key Chinese cities.

The Tanzania officials had visited and organized tourism road shows in five Chinese cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Chengdu and Beijing. With the Chinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam, TTB is now looking to promote Tanzania tourism in China through exchange programmes involving journalists as well, officials said.

The Board (TTB) had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Touchroad International Holdings Group of China to market Tanzania’s tourist attractions in key Chinese cities. Touchroad Group has inked a deal with Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) that will see the Chinese company sending about 10,000 tourists to Tanzania this year, TTB officials said.

The Tourism Board has been participating to various tourism fairs and exhibitions in China, aiming to expose Tanzania’s tourist products, mainly wildlife, the Indian Ocean beaches and historical sites. The Board is currently working with the government of Tanzania to market conference tourism as a new tourist product. China is on top among the world nations which Tanzania is looking to attract for conferences.

Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) is a new tourist product that TTB is working to attract through its marketing campaigns in China. Tanzania has been recognized and approved by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) headquarters in Beijing as one among the countries worth visiting by Chinese holidaymakers.

TTB had launched a market drive to showcase Tanzania’s wildlife, cultural heritage sites, Mount Kilimanjaro, historical sites, and the Indian Ocean beaches to the Chinese tourist market. Other African tourist destinations wrapped up for Chinese tourists are Kenya, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, and Zambia.

The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has rated China among the leading tourist source market in the world. Tanzania is as well looking to attract Chinese investors in accommodation and hospitality sector to build hotels, lodges and other such facilities that would offer Chinese cuisine.

Chinese tourists to Tanzania rose to 30,000 last year from 13,760 counted in the previous five years. The Chinese tourist market is now an optional strategy which Tanzania is looking to capture in addition to traditional markets, mostly the United States, Europe, Japan and South Africa.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Tanzania: A Wonderland in Africa

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What could be more exciting than travelling to a new place and discovering all that the place has to offer? What could be more fascinating than the breathtaking sceneries, rare wild animals, diversity of culture and more? Blessed with a plethora of stunning islands, Tanzania is known for Mount Kilimanjaro, which is Africa’s highest mountain and also for its famous game reserves. On 29 October 1964, the United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar was renamed the United Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania is gaining popularity in the tourism sector worldwide. More and more tourists are getting attracted to this amazing country largely due to the fact that it is one of the most peaceful countries in Africa. This makes tourism safe for every tourist from outside the country and even from within the nation. Moreover, Tanzania is the home of the tallest mountain in Africa, its national pride Mount Kilimanjaro.

The beautiful tall mountain, whose cap is surprisingly covered in snow is a magnificent sight. For the lovers of mountain climbing it presents a great challenge as this is 5840m high. With the help of experienced and courageous tour guides, who will lead you through the safe paths, even amateurs can fulfill their long term dream of seeing the famous Uhuru torch at the top of the mountain.

Among the other tourist attractions one cannot forget to mention the incredible Ngorongoro Crater which is found in the town of Arusha. The crater is the host to many different animal and plant species as well as a rare sight because it is filled with water which is only seen if one climbs at the very peak of the crater or flies over it in a jet.

The national parks are huge areas filled with exotic plants and animals. There is no better way to observe and discover nature in all its beauty than to take a trip to one of the multiple national parks and see the amazing animal life in all its beauty.

Zebras and antelopes, giraffes and buffaloes, lions and leopards, one has to see to believe the beauty of the African national parks. Mikumi National Park, Serengeti National Park, and Manyara National Park are some of them .

In each of these the tourists will be comfortably accommodated within safe lodges in gorgeous safari style where they will be able to try local cuisine and feel at home while surrounded by wilderness. The diversity of Tanzanian people and culture cannot be ignored. That is also one of the amazing things about Tanzania: it has so many different religions and tribes but yet all of them live in tolerance and peace.

The tourists will be glad to discover different cultures, lifestyles, traditions and customs as well as note interesting details such as dressing styles, traditional dances, languages some of which are on the verge of extinction, traditional weddings and the like. All in all, in this heavenly corner filled with golden beaches, sky blue waters, friendly people and magnificent sceneries, a trip to Tanzania is certainly a trip of one’s lifetime. It is truly a wonderland.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Tanzania: Tourism Won't Be Affected By Forex Shop Clampdown'

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THE recent clampdown on forex shops in Arusha has not and will not have any effect on the tourism industry, the government assured yesterday.

Fielding questions from reporters shortly after winding up his familiarization tour of Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr. Constantine John Kanyasu, said the well-coordinated exercise that rocked the region on Monday had left the 2bn US dollar sector stable, adding that tourists continued to make the most of the myriad of attractions found in the country.

"The crackdown by the central bank hasn't affected the sector in any way as tourists and other players continue to enjoy services offered by the ministry," clarified the deputy minister.

The government's assurance comes amid growing fears that the crackdown and the ultimate closure of a number of Bureau de Change outlets will affect the sector which accounts for 25 per cent of foreign exchange earnings in Tanzania while also creating about 600,000 jobs.

There were fears that Arusha, which is revered as the country's tourism hotbed, was likely to face an economic downturn following the clampdown of the forex shops which enters its fourth day, today.

A spot-check by the 'Daily News' yesterday, established that a good number the outlets that deal in the exchange of foreign currencies still remained closed.

A section of Arusha residents who spoke to this paper said they could still access the service from some NMB bank branches and the Bank of Tanzania (BOT) branch in the region.

Speaking here on Tuesday, Central Bank governor, Prof Florence Luoga said the crackdown was aimed at unearthing and exposing unlicensed forex shops.

According to Prof Luoga, the exercise which also involved members of the Tanzania Peoples Defense Forces (TPDF) also sought to revoke licenses of forex shops that were alleged to be involved in money laundering.

Meanwhile, the deputy minister for natural resources and tourism urged tourism stakeholders and conservators to keep politics out of the conservation.

"If we continue to peddle politics in matters of conservation, we will end up with no parks," cautioned the deputy minister.

He further challenged TANAPA to expeditiously resolve the conflicts pitting the organization mandated with the regulation and the use of National Parks in the country with district councils and villages.

He, however, commended the parastatal organization for operating profitably, saying the government was reaping fortunes in the form of revenues from TANAPA.

In his rejoinder, TANAPA Conservation Commissioner, Allan Kijazi told the deputy minister that the organization had in this financial year allocated 2.5bn/- in land use planning and management as a way of addressing land related conflicts with 392 villages surrounding the 16 national parks it manages.

Dr. Kijazi noted that it was also using the 'good neighborliness’ as a way of resolving such disputes.

"Such conflicts have not only wasted much of our time and resources, but they have also affected our core business which is conservation," explained Dr. Kijazi.

According to the Conservation Commissioner, TANAPA will strive to foster its relationship with communities and villages that border its national parks.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Tanzania: Massive Boost for Tourism From China

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A CHINA'S multinational business, Touchroad International has signed an agreement with Tanzania Tourism Board to bring in 10,000 tourists next year.

According to a statement issued yesterday the agreement was signed in Shanghai, China on Tuesday on the first day of a nine-day long TTB road show in China to promote Tanzania's tourist attractions to China, currently the global leading tourism market.

Under the agreement the Shanghai-based company will fly in tourists using a special chartered plane.

The signing ceremony was graced by the Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources, Dr Aloyce Nzuki, TTB and other government officers.

Shanghai was the first point for the road show that begun with the meeting that was officially opened by Dr Nzuki. From Shanghai it will go through five cities namely Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Chengdu and ending at Beijing until next Tuesday.

TTB Board Director, Ms Devotha Mdachi presented the country tourism attractions and investment opportunities.

During the meeting some 200 Tanzania and China tourism stakeholders had a chance to showcase their tour packages tailor made for Chinese market.

Air Tanzania Corporation Limited (ATCL) was among stakeholders corporate that show case their package being flying to Guangzhou next February.

The road show was organised by the Tanzania embassy in China in collaboration with TTB.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Tanzania: Dar, Berlin in Talks Over Dinosaur Revenue Sharing

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THE government is holding talks with Germany on possible sharing of revenue from a dinosaur ferried from Lindi Region to the European nation more than hundred years ago.

The Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Japhet Hasunga, said yesterday that from the talks, the government is targeting to establish how much is being collected from the skeleton and how can the government of Tanzania benefit from it.

The skeleton is preserved at the Humboldt Museum in Germany and it is considered as the main tourism attraction at the museum. According to him, progress of the talks would determine whether the government will have to bring back the dinosaur fossils into the country or not.

"But it has to earn us (the country) money", he said in Dar es Salaam when addressing a press conference about government's plans to promote tourism attractions situated in the southern regions. The Deputy Minister went on to explain that the skeleton was 22 meters in length and 13.7 meters height. It is one of the largest mounted dinosaur fossils on permanent exhibit in the world.

"Therefore, it would be difficult to have it back into the country," noted Mr Hasunga, adding that until now German hasn't been able to reveal how much it has collected from the dinosaur fossils. The European nation has been funding various conservation projects in Tanzania.

"We believe that part of the money that they have been spending on supporting various projects here is earned from the remains of the dinosaur that was ferried to Germany a century back," added the Deputy Minister.

On board, Mr Hasunga was optimistic that presence of the fossil in German is one of the ways of marketing Tanzania abroad, adding that the dinosaur is considered as the country's ambassador on tourism and scientific research to many countries in the world.

However, he said that it would be difficult to bring back the skeleton because it was assembled using modern technology that isn't available in the country.

"It would be a bit difficult to bring back the dinosaur fossils from Germany because as a country, we lack the capacity and technology required to preserve and display the remains for tourism purposes," he said.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Tanzania Tour Operators Contribute $211,000 to save Wildlife

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Tanzania tour operators have so far poured more than $211,000 into a Serengeti de-snaring program meant to combat a new form of poaching.

In 2017, a handful of tour operators, the Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), and Serengeti National Park (SENAPA) joined forces to fight against this silent and deadly form of poaching in the Serengeti.

The De-snaring Program, the first of its kind, has the objective of removing the widespread snares set by local bush meat mongers to catch massive wildlife within the Serengeti National Park and beyond.

Today, 16 months down the lane, the Public-Private Partnership has proved to be an apt model to save the wildlife population in the Serengeti, the Tanzania’s flagship national park.

FZS Project Manager, Mr. Erik Winberg, says that the program with a $211,000 package from tour operators has successfully managed to collect 17,536 snares, 157 animals released alive, 125 poacher camps discovered, and 32 poachers arrested.

He was updating tourism stakeholders during the Mwalimu Nyerere day commemoration organized by the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) under the main theme, “Commemoration of Mwalimu’s unrivaled contribution on conservation,” and sub-theme, “Public-Private-Partnership model in conservation initiatives: The case of De-snaring Program in Serengeti National Park.”

“The PPPs often seen as [an] appropriate form for financing big infrastructure projects are also suitable in wildlife conservation projects, [as] the Serengeti de-snaring program can prove,” Mr. Winberg said.

TATO Councilor and the Serengeti de-snaring program’s volunteer coordinator, Ms. Vesna Glamocanin Tibaijuka, says tourism stakeholders have put more than $211,000 to where their mouths are in the last 16 months.

Subsistence poaching in the Serengeti became large-scale and commercial, putting Tanzania’s flagship national park under renewed pressure after a lull of two years.

Wildlife in the Serengeti, a World Heritage site, had started to recover from a decade-long ivory poaching spree, which almost brought the elephant and rhino populations to their knees.

As if that is not enough, the probably forgotten and silent but deadly bush meat poaching within the Serengeti Park is now putting the world’s greatest annual wildlife migration across East Africa’s plains under a new threat.

The planet’s largest wildlife migration — the annual loop of 2 million wildebeest and other mammals across Tanzania’s legendary national park of Serengeti and Kenya’s renowned Maasai Mara Reserve — is a key tourist lure, generating multi-million dollars annually.

The Serengeti National Park Chief Warden, Mr. William Mwakilema, confirmed that a yet neglected subsistence poaching is becoming a real threat, as local people have adopted wire snares to catch massive animals indiscriminately, thanks to human population growth.

One of TANAPA’s directors, Martin Loibok, commended the partnership, saying such kinds of cooperation was needed for the conservation drive to be sustainable.

“I would like to praise TANAPA for living the legacy of Mwalimu Nyerere on [its] conservation drive. TATO members have always been grateful the job well done in our national parks and even more importantly for the recent addition of new parks,” TATO CEO, Mr. Sirili Akko, explained.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Tanzania is working to Restore an 800-year old city, Buried under rocks at Engaruka Escarpments of Monduli District.

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Tanzania is working to restore an ancient city, buried under rocks at Engaruka escarpments of Monduli District, to promote tourism in its recently launched geopark, according to an official from the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA).

Engaruka is recognized as the remains of the largest abandoned system of irrigated agricultural fields and terraces in sub-Saharan Africa. It was once thought to be a ‘lost city’ of up to 40,000 inhabitants. 

It was mysteriously abandoned about 200 years ago.

John Pareso, an official with the NCAA, said that efforts to excavate, restore and protect the ruins of ancient stone structures, which are thought to be of the 800-year-old “lost city of Engaruka,” have started under the recently launched Ngorongoro-Lengai Geopark.

“Remains of these stone buildings here have been scientifically proved to date back to between 500 and 800 years ago, indicating advanced civilization that may have existed in northern parts of Tanzania nearly one thousand years ago,” he said.

The ruins also indicate that the people of that era ran a very efficient irrigation system, whose infrastructure can still be seen within the ruins.

Archaeological experts are still trying to find out what caused the ancient Engaruka settlement to be abandoned or destroyed.

Tanzania, with the support from the United Nations Organization for Education, Science and Culture (UNESCO) and through the Ngorongoro-Lengai geopark, is working to restore the ruins.