Tanzania has set a target to receive 2 million tourists by 2020; and a number of initiatives have been put in place to guarantee that it happens. And for the country’s tourists’ board, this target, although ambitious, is very much achievable and can even be surpassed.
The East African country received about 1.49 million tourists in 2018.
In an exclusive interview with VoyagesAfriq at the just ended Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE), Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), Devota Mdachi said there were number of initiatives that the board is working on to grow the tourism numbers to the country.
She mentioned the board had been engaged in a lot of road shows in Israel, India and in China and is currently looking to do more road shows in the year 2020 in South Korea because of the huge potential of the tourism market there.
“We are also investing a lot in the traditional market, the USA, the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Australia and Spain because we still see a number of tourists coming from those markets and there’s great interest in what Tanzania has to offer.”
Speaking on the board’s plan for the coming year, she said the promotion of other new tourist products was ongoing with the recent launch of a campaign that seeks to promote filming in Tanzania.
“We have beautiful filming hotspots and we’ve already set a meeting for people from Hollywood to come and see the highlights for themselves, and we believe that in good time Tanzania can be the new Hollywood in Africa,” Mdachi stated.
She said tourists from East and Southern Africa were gradually on the rise and that the Board will in the coming days set sight on attracting people from West Africa.
“We have been investing a lot and at the moment we are looking at promoting Tanzania to the West African tourist market.” She hinted.
On SITE, she explained that the event began in 2014 to serve as a platform for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) in Tanzania who do not have the capital nor the ability to travel abroad to sell their products and services to have a show where “we invite to Tanzania hosted buyers from various countries in the world by inviting them to Tanzania so they can meet with these SME’s and do business with them,”
“This year 2019 is the 5th show of the expo and it’s been quite a success, we were able to invite more than 333 buyers all over the world and have more than a 170 exhibitors from within and outside Tanzania.
During the 3 days, hosted buyers were able to have B2B meetings with exhibitors from Tanzania and also hold speed networking sessions with their counterparts from Tanzania.
The hosted buyers were invited to go visit some of the unique tourist attractions, we have organized 6 routes.
Other wholesale buyers also went the southern part of Tanzania and visited some of the national parks there which have very unique attractions. Other wholesale buyers also visited West Kilimanjaro and experienced the luxury of Maasai Boma.
“So all of these were specially made safaris for hosted buyers so they can see and experience why Tanzania is indeed unforgettable,” the TTB CEO said.