Tourism is is now widely recognised as a major tool in the economies of developing countries . It is one of the business activities that has a wide impact on business development far beyond the simple need for accommodation. The flow down effect and need for services drives the creation of employment.
Developing countries like Tanzania can benefit especially with its natural resources of nature and culture. Tourism is one of Tanzania’s fastest growing economic sectors, with nearly 800,000 arrivals in 2010, a 9% increase over 2009. The US is Tanzania’s number-one source of tourism and tour operators reported a tremendous increase in bookings in 2011 and for 2012. The resulting growth has increased demand for hotel capacity as well as flights, especially to Kilimanjaro International Airport, the gateway to the coutries tourism icons, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park and the Ngorongoro Crater.
Tanzania boasts 15 National Parks and 31 game reserves, is home to Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa, The Serengeti National Park, home to the “Great Animal Migration” , and the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often called the 8th Wonder of the World and Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Ezekiel Maige, was recently in US leading a high-level Tanzania tourism delegation to the US to lure investors to come to Tanzania to invest in the sector as well as meeting with tourism partners.
While in the US Maige participated in the Africa Travel Association’s (ATA) Sixth Annual Presidential Forum that was supported by the Tanzania National Park and Tanzania Tourist Board. The focus was to invite investors in Tanzania and attract US travelers to visit Tanzania to see for themselves the country’s exceptional blend of scenery of wildlife and culture.
Edward Bergman, the ATA’s Executive Director welcomed almost 200 guests, including representatives from the travel and tourism industry, the diplomatic community, theNGO’s and travel trade media, was made possible thanks to support from the Egypt Tourism Authority, South African Airways, Tanzania National Parks, and the Tanzania Tourist Board. The forum aimed at bringing leading travel and tourism experts from around the world and Africa together to address key issues facing tourism development in Africa.
While in the US, Mr Maige also presented Annual Tourism Awards to five firms who have worked hard promoting and selling Tanzania in the US market.
South African Airways was presented with the TTB Supporting Airline Award 2011 for the outstanding promotional support provided the Tanzania Tourist Board’s efforts to increase Tanzania tourism from the US market. The awards were created in 2000 to recognize and show appreciation to the travel professionals and media who have worked hard promoting and selling Tanzania in the US market.
Tanzania Tourism is booming and this year, 2011, as TTB marks its 11th Anniversary of the success of the Tanzania Tourism Award Program, it takes on special significance as the country celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Independence.