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Tanzania’s heritage sites not fully promoted for tourism

Stakeholders have called for deliberate actions to promote heritage sites for tourism.

The move would lead to diversification of main tourist attractions other than the wildlife splendour.

A leading tour operator, Zara Ansell, said here over the weekend that the heritage sites need special promotion.

“There should be increased emphasis on them because they are equally attractive for tourists,” she told journalists at the Karibu-Kilifair exhibition grounds in Arusha.

Ms Ansell, who is the managing director of Moshi-based Zara Tours, said heritage or cultural segments should be included in the package for visitors coming to Tanzania.

“Tanzania has countless tourism products other than wildlife. These also include mountain climbing,” she added.

She cited Mt Kilimanjaro, the world’s tallest free standing mountain and highest in Africa.

On average, the ice-capped ‘Roof of Africa’ attracted about 50,000 foreign and local climbers every year.

But Ms Ansell, whose tour firm organizes the mountain climbs there, said there needs to be deliberate actions to attract more mountain climbers and nature lovers to the area.

The 5,895 metre high mountain remains one of the leading tourist destinations in the country.

For many years, it trailed the equally world famous Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) in the number of visitors and revenues collected.

Her remarks complemented with what the Zanzibar minister for Tourism and Heritage Sites, Simai Mohamed Said, said when opening the expo.

The minister wondered why much emphasis was not given to ‘utalii wa mambo ya kale’ (cultural heritage tourism) as is done with wildlife or nature based sites.

He said the Isles was recently declared a number one tourist destination in Africa because of its rich cultural tourism relics.

The minister revealed that with increasing number of tourists from the leading source markets, there will soon be a direct flight from France to Tanzania.

Mr Simai said although Tourism was not a Union matter,the two governments have been working together to jointly promote their niche tourism.

He said the Isles, like the Mainland, has lately seen an unprecedented influx of the visitors from abroad; thanks to sustained promotion efforts.

When he tabled the estimates of his ministry in the National Assembly last week, the Natural Resources and Tourism minister, Mohamed Mchengerwa, said tourism revival was indeed on gear.

There had been a 58 percent surge of the foreign visitors to the country between 2021 and 2022 from 922,692 to 1.4 million respectively.

According to the minister,the inflow of travel earnings reached $2.52 billion in 2022 up from $1.31 billion in 2021.

The director of Taxpayer Services and Education with the Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), Mr Richard Kayombo, said they will continue to cooperate with tourism sector businesses in taxation matters.

Source: The Citizen