AFRICANGLOBE – Tanzania, the home to Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, was listed seventh in the ‘New York Times’ as one of the 45 places to go in 2012. The only two other African countries on the list are Morocco, listed as number 26 and Uganda that came 33rd.
According to the article, the reasons why Tanzania should be visited this year are because of the new attractions that have been discovered and the establishment of exclusive safari reserves and up scale safari camps, making Tanzania a more sophisticated African safari destination giving Kenya and South Africa competition.
Although Tanzania has always had Mount Kilimanjaro, its other tourist sites like the Ngorongoro crater and the Serengeti National Parks took time to become household names abroad and identified as truly Tanzanian. Zanzibar with its intriguing history, exotic culture and endless beaches is marketed as part of the travel package to the country.
Other popular tourist destinations include, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Selous Game Reserve, Ruaha National Park, Mafia Island and Mount Meru. Speaking to an official at the Tanzania Tourist Board recently, she mentioned that the number one reason why more visitors are coming to Tanzania is because it is considered new. Another major appeal is that the places of interest are not crowded and overall the peace and stability of the country makes visitors feel safe.
The same reasons apply to the investors interested in the high end market. Tranquillity and assured privacy on virgin locations is of upmost importance to them. The abundance of wild game is an added bonus to a clientele that seeks places to “get away from it all” and at the same time enjoy their money’s worth.
With reference to the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) web site, such luxury resorts include Singita Grumeti Reserves, luxurious eco-tourism resorts, bringing a new ‘seven star’ luxury to the country. Combined with a commitment to the environment and the community around it, the reserves are backed by American financier and environmental philanthropist Paul Tudor Jones. The 340,000 acre (140, 000 hectare) resort is located on the western boundary of the Serengeti National Park.
The concession is comprised of Ikorongo Game Reserve, Grumeti Game Reserve and arid Fort Ikoma Open Area. Three exceptional lodges have been constructed in Grumeti Reserves: Sasakwa Hill Lodge (a member of the Relais and Chateaux Collection), a hilltop lodge in the style of an English manor with awe-inspiring views over the Serengeti plains.
Each of these three spectacular locations is positioned ideally on the renowned migration route traversed annually by more than a million wildebeest. Not just a holiday site, Grumeti Reserves wants to rehabilitate and improve the indigenous biodiversity of the western Serengeti-Mara system to the benefit of local communities and districts.
Grumeti Reserves established the Grumeti Community & Wildlife Conservation Fund. One of the projects undertaken by the Fund is the planned reproduction of 25 Black Rhino to the Serengeti eco-system. Fellow Tanzanians, backpackers and jet setting visitors are all encouraged to visit scenic Tanzania. From dipping our toes in the warm Indian Ocean to scaling the highest point of Africa, Tanzania certainly has a lot to offer.
Established in 1993, the Tanzania Tourist Board is mandated with the promotion and development of all the aspects of tourism industry in Tanzania both at home and abroad. With a vision of making tourism the leading contributing sector towards the country’s GDP by 2025, TTB has taken on a proactive approach in promoting Tanzania.
For starters in addition to the traditional ways of advertising, TTB has the worldwide love of English soccer and advertises in six stadiums during the English Premier League. Making use of social networks, TTB is on Twitter and facebook. Taking on one to one approach, Goodwill Tourism Ambassadors have been appointed. One of the most active Goodwill Tourism Ambassadors was the former Ambassador of Turkey in Tanzania, His Excellency Sander GÃrbÃz who at the end of this tenure recently, assured TTB that he would continue to market and promote Tanzania in Turkey.
The ambassador said that although he was going back to Turkey, his commitment to attracting Turkish tourists and investors in the tourism industry in Tanzania will continue. During his tenure in Tanzania he introduced direct flights flown by Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to Dar es Salaam in 2010.
He organised investment fora encouraging Turkish investors to invest in Tanzania and familiarisation tours for Turkish journalists to Tanzania in an effort to promote Tanzania. His efforts played a vital role in linking the two countries and have raised the number of Turkish tourists to Tanzania five times more than in the previous years.
But above all, the best way to sell ourselves is by word of mouth. And just as much as we have beautiful sites, the services we offer in the hospitality industry leave room for improvement. In this regard, the National College for Tourism was officially opened last December by President Jakaya Kikwete, the college which cost $16 million was built by the Tanzanian government .
The college, dedicated to tourism and hospitality education complements the long-existing Mweka Wildlife College outside Moshi. The college offers comprehensive tertiary and vocational education opportunities for all those wishing to make a career in the tourism and wildlife sectors, which are hugely important to the Tanzanian economy.
Over 300 students are already enrolled in the new college but over 1,000 more are expected to be on campus soon when the next and following academic years start and intake levels have reached the projected capacity. The new college, modeled after the Kenya Utalii College, is the second major public tourism training facility in East Africa.
Speaking at the opening of the National College of Tourism, President Kikwete said good services provided by stakeholders in tourism and other sectors make good names. “It is true that we need funds to advertise our wealth in wildlife, but good services extend our reputation across the continents. It is necessary to have a curriculum, trainers and graduates who can satisfy the international market demand,” President Kikwete said.
Giving an example of a detrimental attitude among entrepreneurs which is closely related to the danger of taking things for granted, the president said it was not proper for them to sit back and assume everyone knows that Mount Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania and expect tourists to arrive on impulse.
The president added, “We need graduates who will be equally competent. I have been to several countries only to discover that there are hotel attendants from East Africa but none from Tanzania. Training institutions must produce highly qualified graduates”.
Again, good services would not be separated from integrity, said the president. Every one has to abide by professional ethics.