Tanzania’s tourism industry last year contributed at least $2.1 billion (equal to Sh4.7 trillion) to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) compared to Sh4.2 trillion contributed in 2016.
This was revealed on Wednesday, January 10 in Dar es Salaam by Natural Resources and Tourism minister Dr Hamis Kigwangalla during the launch of a special committee established to address challenges facing the sector.
Dr Kigwangalla further revealed that the sector contributed about 25 percent of the county’s foreign currency last year. “Tourism sector has been contributing significantly in the country’s economic development,” he said.
“According to statistics, in 2016, over 1 million tourists had visited Tanzania for various tourist activities,” he said.
He cited a recent report by the Bank of Tanzania (BoT), titled “Unlocking the Potential of Tourism Industry for Tanzanians, which indicated that revenues in tourism industry will increase up to $16 billion annually by 2025.
Dr Kigwangalla said his office had embarked on diversification of the sector’s products in a bid to attract many international tourists.
The diversification will focus on both establishing new tourist attractions and expanding tourist corridors, he noted in his speech.
To begin with, he said, his office was determined to establish the Southern tourist corridor whose headquarters will be located in Iringa Region.
“We aim to introduce various new tourists products including traditional dance, tourists exhibitions, films, to mention few, ” he said.
Furthermore, Dr Kigwangalla called upon tourism stakeholders to complement the government’s commitment to develop tourism industry.
On the same occasion, the Director of Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Ms Devotha Mdachi expressed her optimism that diversification in tourism industry would help to transform the sector and increase international tourists traffic coming in the country.