Tanzania asks China and Germany to help boosting tourism

Tanzania’s government is now looking to attract tourists from Germany and China through technical support from the two markets, which the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) has targeted for expansion through its global marketing campaigns.

The Minister for Tourism Dr. Hamisi Kigwangala held talks with German and Chinese ambassadors, asking them to market Tanzania tourism in their respective countries, also to convince potential investors from their respective countries to invest in tourist venues and hotels in Tanzania.

Dr. Kigwangala held talks with the Chinese ambassador to Tanzania, Ms Wang Ke, and the German ambassador, Dr. Detlef Wachter, and asked them to use their diplomatic positions in helping to attract tourists and hotel investors to visit and invest in Tanzania.

He said the Tanzania government through his ministry, is now looking to diversify its tourist market to attract Chinese tourists, banking on the big population of China.

“Our major target is to see that Tanzania attracts many Chinese tourists, with more Chinese investors in hotels capturing Tanzania’s tourism through construction of high-class resorts”, Dr. Kigwangala said.

The minister also said he has been taking serious plans to attract direct flights from China to Tanzania, in an effort to draw more Chinese visitors.

The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Managing Director Ms Devota Mdachi told eTN that China is a tourist market source which Tanzania is looking to tap.

“We are taking the Chinese big population to market tourism which can attract big groups of Chinese to visit Tanzania”, she told eTN.

TTB has been participating to various tourism fairs and exhibitions in China to expose Tanzania’s tourist products, mainly wildlife, the Indian Ocean beaches and historical sites.

Chinese visitors to Tanzania rose from 13,760 visitors in 2012 to 21,246 tourists last year. China produces about 90 million overseas tourists each year.

Tanzania has been recognized and approved by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) headquartered in Beijing, as a country of visit by Chinese holidaymakers.

Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) has launched a market drive to market Tanzania’s wildlife, cultural heritage, Mount Kilimanjaro, historical sites, and the Indian Ocean beaches to the Chinese tourist market.

China has recognized eight African countries as suitable tourist destinations for the Chinese, and Tanzania became among the short-list of African nations recognized by CNTA as a qualified destination.

Tanzania and China had signed a Memorandum of Understanding this year to allow Chinese tourist groups to visit Tanzania. Other African tourist destinations wrapped up in such an accord are Kenya, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, and Zambia.

The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has recognized China as the new number one tourism source market in the world.

“The successful implementation of the new Chinese national tourism strategy will surely impulse both domestic and outbound tourism in China, and we particularly welcome the decision to promote traveling at different times of the year,” said UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.

Germany on its side has been a good source for tourists visiting Tanzania every year. The number of German tourists visiting Tanzania rose from 36,626 in 2012 to 53,951 last year, the Tanzania Tourist Board’s official visitors data shows.

The most attractive sites which pull Germans to Tanzania other than wildlife parks are the historical sites including the old German buildings, cultural heritage sites and Mount Kilimanjaro expeditions.

German government has been financing wildlife conservation programs in Tanzania since 1959 mostly in Serengeti eco-system in northern Tanzania and the Selous Game Reserve in Southern Tanzania.

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