Sunday, 03 December 2023

The Tourism Potential of Tanzania

Hosting Mount Kilimanjaro, and the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania is one of the most popular destinations for Tourists globally, and for decades has increasingly become a major sector in the economy. The economic policies and government to support tourism have been nationally emphasised because Tanzania is blessed with the natural resources which attracts the tourists across the continent and globe.

Tourism is a major foreign exchange earner for the Tanzania economy, generating other economic benefits as well, which include income, employment and revenues. 

The Government of Tanzania views tourism as a significant industry in terms of job creation, poverty alleviation, and foreign exchange earnings. Tourism today is receiving a greater attention than ever before from international development agencies and from national government.

Tourism sector has the important role to play in the country's economy. Tanzania's tourism industry is thriving and is rated among the fastest growing sectors in the country and it takes a lead in bringing foreign exchange. Similarly, earnings from tourism went up by 8 percent to USD 1,288.7 million. Since the 1990s, tourism has become the fastest growing industry in Tanzania. By 1999 tourism accounted for 60 percent of all exports of goods and services and 9 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Tourism is also considered an important industry for reducing poverty.

To many countries, tourism is the highest foreign exchange earner and an important provider of employment. According to the World Tourism Organization, in 2000 there were 698 million tourist arrivals worldwide that generated 478.0 US $ billion. According to the statistics in 2000, Africa region showed average annual growth rate of 4.5% in arrivals. Statistics available also indicate that, Africa’s market share in 1999 was 2.0%.

The traditionally-described domains of tourism impacts are economic, socio-cultural, and environmental dimensions. The economic effects of tourism include improved tax revenue and personal income, increased standards of living, and more employment opportunities.

The most popular destinations in Tanzania for Tourists includes Mount Kilimanjaro, Serengeti National Park, Zanzibar Beaches, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Lake Manyara National Park, Mafia Island, Tarangire National Park, and Pemba Island.

Tanzania is a country of immense beauty which undoubtedly needs to be experienced in this lifetime. The country is famous the world over for its breath-taking savannahs, towering mountains, bustling cities and sun-soaked islands.

Tanzania has a diversified Tourism sector with several industries that can be tapped into by new start-ups, from Hunting, Safaris, Sea related, Parks, Accommodation and more.

Marine Resources - Tanzania has exceptional, world-class marine assets in Zanzibar and a number of offshore islands.

Niche markets - Tanzania has assets that appeal to a number of niche markets where the aficionados tend to be high-income and where world demand is estimated to be growing faster than for traditional resort tourism.

Wildlife viewing/Photographic safaris - Serengeti, Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Parks and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area are world class assets that are featured by tour operators.

Beach resorts in the island of Zanzibar are featured as single destination attractions and, frequently, as an add-on to the wildlife safaris.

Birdwatching or birding - Although some specialized tours are run, generally birders are mixed in with photographic safaris to the Northern or Southern circuits, where wildlife viewing is the main objective.

Climbing/Trekking - Kilimanjaro is the prime but not the only site for mountain climbing in Tanzania.

Deep-sea fishing is done mainly in Mafia and the Pemba channel (a 2400-ft. deep channel separating the island from the mainland). Many of Tanzania’s lakes and rivers are suitable for freshwater fishing, with Lake Victoria the best known.

Scuba diving - The coral reefs around Zanzibar and its satellite islands have not entirely escaped the world-wide blight that has destroyed corals all over the world, but the damage is said to be relatively minor.

Cultural tourism - Cultural tourism assets are numerous. Access to them is sometimes difficult and most of the built assets are in serious need of protection and preservation. The Antiquities Department on the Mainland has more than 500 sites, but only 20 have employed workers and are open to visitors.

Hunting is classified as a tourism activity because it is based on wildlife assets and brings in foreigners to the country. Hunting entails among the highest expenditures made by any segment of tourists—from $500 to $1500 per day, but can be higher.

The increasing competition and the highly demands of globalization in tourism sector are increasing challenges in the market and operation of small and medium enterprises in Tanzania. In order to cope with these challenges, it is evidenced that the adoption of social media networking is an enabler of small and medium tourist enterprises in quest of enhancing competitiveness in their globalized market place. Despite of this benefit offered by social media (SM) to SMEs, very little is known on the factors influencing adoption of social media in Tanzanian Tourist sector.

Therefore, the objective of this study is to understand the factors influencing adoption of social media in Tourism sector by Studying tourism SM/SMEs’ practices of social media. The study will look at theories that influences adoption and barriers hindering its adoption.

The expected contributions of this research were to investigate how SME entrepreneurs are using social media for marketing and promotion; to identify the factors influencing adoption of social media in tourism sector; to examine whether enterprises are satisfied with current usage of social media; and to recommend strategies to enhance use of social media by Small and Medium Enterprises (SME).

Findings using SEM revealed that organization context and environmental context are significantly influencing adoption of social media networking adoption while technology context was found to be insignificant factor. This study recommended that in order SMEs to continuously be competitive in this global and dynamic market they should continue to adopt the use of social media networking as a tool to capture more customers worldwide.

With the use of Technology such as social media, Tanzanian business owners in the Tourism Industry can bring tourist destinations to life online, and have maximum sales impact on recruiting new consumers, and increase tourist arrivals, despite the Covid19 Pandemic impact to global tourism. Tourism year 2015-2016 is characterized by a decline of 8% compared to 2014, according to latest data published by the National Bureau of Statistics of Tanzania. 

However, this decline was far from being alarming with an overall growth rate for the last three years that is 5.5%. The industry is going strong and is positioned to be one of the largest economic sectors by the end of 2016. A more optimistic picture was presented by World Travel & Tourism Council in August 2015 based on statistics collected from its member countries, which depicts tourist arrivals are expected to remain at 2.6% Growth in 2016 and 2017, said WTTc’s Executive Director Benjamin Orlove at UNWTO General Assembly held in Busan (Korea).

There is a great future for Tanzania's Tourism industry. This industry is being marketed as Tanzania's Economic Miracle. It has the potential to generate 7.9 percent of the country´s GDP and 4.7 percent in total foreign exchange remittances in 2015, according to research conducted by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) for Ministry of Finance and Planning (MFP). These findings are based on projections made by Tanzania Tourism Board (TTA) as well as other tourism providers who are predicting Tanzania's tourism revenue to double within a decade.

The current rate of foreign exchange inflows is over US$ 2.5 billion per year. During 2014 the tourism sector received about $650 million in foreign exchange inflows, an increase of 8 percent compared to 2013 - the last year for which data was available.

It appears that customer service has slipped back in the country since October 1. While good customer service is considered one of Tanzania's key tourism growth strategies, it is also an easy target for corruption that many visitors tend to overlook.

International tourists spent most of their time in ethnic hotels, licensed by the government and subject to high taxes and standards of quality imposed by authorities or local community associations.

Source: WTO, NBS, TTA