Tourism promoters are undertaking a number of initiatives meant to boost the number of arrivals to Tanzania’s attractions after a 47 percent drop in 2020.
With a number of countries employing lockdowns to cushion themselves against the global Covid-19 pandemic, Tanzania also found itself on the losing end.
The Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) said yesterday that the number of tourists who visited the country last year plummeted to 800,000.
This represents a 47 percent drop from the 1.5 million tourists that visited the country in 2019.
“A number of countries closed their skies and were on lockdown and this had a negative effect on the number of tourists seeking to visit the country,” TTB’s managing director Devota Mdachi said.
She was speaking during the announcement of the Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE) that is expected to take place in October.
The SITE, she said, was one of the initiatives that TTB was putting in place to tweak the tourist numbers.
TTB initiated the SITE so as to give an opportunity to Tanzania tourist agents, especially those with small capital, to meet with international tourist agents so they can start raise their business profiles.
“Since the initiative was started, the number of participants increased from 40 exhibition companies and 24 international travel vendors in 2014 to 110 exhibition companies and 39 international travel vendors in 2015,” she said.
In 2016, the number rose to 145 exhibition companies and 241 international travel vendors while in 2018, there were 152 exhibition companies and 300 international travel vendors.
In 2019, the event was attended by a total of 170 exhibition companies and 333 international travel vendors.
She noted that in 2019 there were participants from 55 countries including United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Czech, Estonia, and France among many others.
“Unfortunately in 2020 we could not host the event due to the Covid-10 pandemic because a number of countries globally closed down their air spaces for air travel and set up tough conditions for people wanting to travel around the world,” she said.
She said in May, 2020 the government set up the National Standard Operating Procedures for the management of Covid-19 in the Tourism Business. The procedures laid out the operating standards that each player should abide with in the management of travelers from their point of entry to departure.
She noted that during the SITE, TTB has organized a 50 percent discount for tourist agents who will book well ahead of the event.
Source: The Citizen