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Economic Potential of Tourism in Tanzania

The Tanzanian tourism sector is one of the engines that drive the Tanzanian economy. In 2017 alone, tourism generated around USD 3 billion which formed a massive chunk in 25% of the country’s foreign exchange revenues. In early 2018, tourism was one of the most significant income earners and represented 17 percent of the country’s GDP. It directly employs around 700,000 people and provides indirect incomes to 2 million people. The country’s tourism sector boasts some of the wealthiest game reserves in the world, six world heritage sites and stunning pristine beaches and azure waters.

1. Serengeti plains

The Serengeti plains alone form a considerable revenue base, and the government has spared no effort to increase its potential. It hosts the largest concentration of wild animals in this part of Africa. The circuit also hosts the most massive terrestrial wildebeest migration in the world.

The Ngorongoro Crater is the world’s largest dormant volcano while Africa’s tallest mountain, Kilimanjaro is alsonearby.

The country received a record 1.2 million international visitors in 2018 mostly from the U.S, Europe, and Africa. This was a significant leap from the dismal number of visitors from the preceding years from 2014 where only 580,000 visitors were welcomed. This boost in visitors comes as a result of government efforts to reform the tourism sector by developing strategies and policies that have been introduced gradually during the last ten years to build the industry.

2. Magical Zanzibar

While Tanzania mainland boasts unique safari destinations, including the game reserves of Serengeti, Lake Manyara, Tarangire national park, Katavi national park, Gombe stream national park, Selous national park, and Ruaha national park, magical Zanzibar contributes its share with its luxury beach hotels and resorts, pristine beaches and turquoise waters. Not to leave out its world-famous water sports including kite-surfing, deep sea diving, snorkelling and dhow sails that attract hordes of enthusiastic visitors throughout the year.

According to the World Tourism and Travel Council, WTTC, between 2014 and 2018, Tanzania managed to rake in Tshs.2.9 billion or 5.2 percent of total GDP.

3. Tourism competitiveness ratio

When it comes to Travel and Tourism competitiveness, the country currently ranks in the 109th position with a score of 3.5 and compares favourably with European giant Switzerland which tops the list with a rating of 5.6.

In Sub Saharan Africa, Tanzania ranks 12th with tiny Seychelles topping the list with a score of 4.5.

By 2025, the country’s tourism sector is expected to grow at a rate of 6.5 percent per annum, against a projected world average of 4 percent according to WTTC.

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