Tanzania’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism is spending 5bn/- in a five-year strategic plan to promote tourism, with special focus on beach and historical tourism.
This ambitious project would also involve the setting up of Regional Tourism Boards to identify and promote tourists destinations, in collaboration with the Tanzania Tourist Board ( TTB).
In an exclusive interview, Tourism Minister, Mr Ezekiel Maige, told reporters in Dar es Salaam recently that Kigamboni, Bagamoyo, Kilwa and Pangani beaches would benefit from the plan. He said local government authorities would be involved in the plan which aims to ensure at least one kilometre of land from the sea shore is reserved for hotel investments.
“Our goal is to invest in our beaches and come up with magnificent hotels like those in Mombasa, Kenya and Turkey in Greece,” he explained. Tanzania is endowed with beautiful beaches especially along the Indian Ocean coastline, running some 1,424 kilometres from the border with Mozambique in the South to Kenya in the North. On beaches of lakes and rivers like Matema and Mbamba Bay, Mr Maige said the anticipated Regional Tourism Boards would be managing them.
“Dar es Salaam, Kilimanjaro and Arusha have created their boards already. Iringa, Kigoma and Rukwa are taking the same initiative. These boards will be under Regional Administrative Secretaries and will be affiliated to the TTB,” he said. Mr Maige mentioned historical sites of Kilwa Kisiwani, Songo Mnara (among World Heritage sites), Amboni Caves, the Mbozi Meteorite and Slave Trade Central route that stretches from Bagamoyo to Ujiji in Kigoma as some of the beneficiaries of the five year plan.
To attract more visitors, the ministry plans to slash entrance fees into museums such as Maji Maji (Songea), Arusha Declaration (Arusha), National Museum (Dar es Salaam), Makumbusho Village Museum (Dar es Salaam) and Butiama (Mara). The ministry’s plan is to see that hostels charging as little as 30,000/- per night are built in National Parks such as Serengeti and Mikumi for students and other domestic visitors who might not afford expensive accommodation at tourist hotels.
“We have also embarked on a weekend tourism programme operated by the Tanzania National Parks and Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, which have been providing transport to domestic tourists wishing to visit our parks, ” he said.
The minister said the plan also involves promoting the country in East Europe, India, China and Japan. Tanzania attracts more than 800,000 tourists per annum generating around 1.5tr/- in revenues.