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Tourism is one of the few sectors continuing to grow in undeveloped countries, and turning Tanzania into more of mainstream destination will only bode well for its citizens.
In a milestone history of tourism promotion partnerships, the Tanzania Tourist Board has launched an international tourism marketing strategy that will place this African nation on top among the world’s leading tourist destinations.
The Tanzanian Minister for Tourism, Mr. Khamis Kagasheki, unveiled the International Marketing Strategy for Tanzania compiled in a 28-page, full-color document and said joint efforts are needed from public and private stakeholders to implement such a strategy that will see this country attracting two million tourists in the forthcoming five years.
The milestone strategy took 18 months of public and private partnership to compile, involving joint discussions and consultations between both sectors (public and private) in which key stakeholders were involved, the Tanzania Tourist Board’s Managing Director, Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, said.
“It is indeed a milestone in the history of the tourism promotion partnership in Tanzania, since the establishment of [the] Tanzania Tourist Board in 1993 and the Tanzania Confederation of Tourism in 2000,” he said.
“This strategy will, among other things, develop a distinctive and competitive positioning of Tanzania and will make use of more focused and cutting-edge techniques and approaches to international tourism marketing,” Dr. Nzuki said.
He further said the ultimate goal is to enable the tourism sector in Tanzania to contribute effectively towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, specifically poverty eradication.
“As we roll out this strategy, we invite all the stakeholders to take ownership and support its implementation,” he added.
Through implementation of this strategy during the forthcoming five years (five year goals), twelve strategic goals will be focused and targeted, all aimed at raising Tanzania’s current position in travel and tourism in the world, from the 90th position to the 75th position.
In market share, the strategy is also looking at increasing Tanzania’s tourism market share in the next five years from the current 11 percent to at least 14 percent of the total number of tourist arrivals in Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, and Botswana which are key competitors, from the four primary source markets of the United Kingdom (UK), Italy, Germany, and the United States.
The other goal during the period in bracket is to increase the market share of Indian Ocean’s Spice Island of Zanzibar from the current 26 percent to at least 30 percent of the total number of tourist arrivals in this island, to compete with the Seychelles and Mauritius from the above-mentioned source markets of Europe and the United States.
Seychelles and Mauritius are the leading tourist destinations in the eastern Indian Ocean, and both have similar products and weather condition almost similar to Zanzibar.
Taking into account that Tanzania stands as one country with two complimentary destinations in the primary and secondary source markets, the target during the years in bracket will be strong marketing of nature, wildlife, beaches, lakes, and mountains as tourist products available in the mainland, while Zanzibar’s products are pristine beaches, turquoise seas, and history for medium- to high-value tourism.
The other goal is to develop a distinctive and competitive positioning for this country (Tanzania) as a tourist destination and use of this positioning, consistently and consecutively in all communications.
Tourism Minister Khamis Kagasheki said amid the current economic uncertainty, tourism is one of the few economic sectors in the world growing strongly, driving economic progress in developing and developed nations alike, and most importantly, creating the much needed jobs.
He said travel and tourism industry is increasingly becoming more important in the economy of Tanzania, adding, “You will agree with me that Tanzania is a magical place for many reasons, from its natural resources, diverse cultures, to the warmth of its people.
“The range of tourism attractions found in our country today by far exceeds anyone’s expectations.”
The minister said that, the increasing competition in tourism markets requires private and public sectors to join efforts to enhance competitiveness in the market place.
The opening of new destinations in Europe and Asia, and the technology advancement which gives tourists opportunity of a wider choice of destinations, has increased the level of competition in the sector.
“Partnership between the private and public sectors seems to be the remedy to this scenario, and we must continually ask what more we can do together to compete with the best in the world,” the Minister said.
“Our destination is beginning to be well positioned and our collaborative efforts are now beginning to pay off. Over the last ten years, Tanzania registered a growth of 65 percent of international tourist arrivals. In 2011, Tanzania received 867,994 tourists who earned this country US$1.35 billion,” Kagasheki added.
Leveraging on this new marketing strategy and other national initiatives, it is estimated that, the number of tourist arrivals in this country will reach two million by the close of 2017, increasing the revenue from the current US$1.35 billion to about US$2 billion, assuming the existing economic parameters prevail, or even better, improve.
“This joint effort should help us to effectively and appropriately manage the complexity of today’s tourism development and marketing challenges. Our joint efforts should also help us to increasingly find innovative ways to penetrate the markets and attract more tourists to visit Tanzania,” Kagasheki remarked.
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