The vision of women in tourism in Tanzania can help realise the country’s great potential in the sector, an American diplomat has said.
US Embassy in Tanzania’s Public Affairs Officer Dana L. Banks says it is imperative to consider that no nation – including the US can attain its fullest potential without the immense talent and contributions of women.
According to her, few nations could boast the unlimited opportunities Tanzania enjoys in tourism, and women should play a great role to unleash that potential.
Banks made the remarks when speaking in Dar es Salaam at the weekend during the launch of Association of Women in Tourism Tanzania (AWOTTA).
“This nation possesses world renowned natural resources that through your vision can actually generate great tourism revenues to promote economic development for Tanzanians,” she told the Tanzania women in tourism.
She underscored the fact that Tanzania has first class beaches, natural parks and wildlife, historic ruins and cultural heritage.
She said the country also boasts of the most famous mountain in the world with Mount Everest – Kilimanjaro!
“You have recognised the immense untapped potential of Tanzania’s tourism sector and decided to seize the day and the hour. In the face of such potential, you have awakened to the fact that procrastination is simply not an option,” she said.
AWOTTA initiative would also promote women leaders in Tanzania’s tourism sector, she said.
“As Secretary Clinton and Ambassador Lenhardt have said, this is not just because it is the right thing to do but also because it is the smart thing to do. When women make progress, countries make progress. The education of a girl is the most effective development investment that can be made with enormous positive consequences for her future, her family and the future of her society,” she said.
She promised her office would partner with AWOTTA in the future as America was committed to fostering sustained economic growth abroad through education, women’s empowerment programmes, and to encourage individuals including women leaders to lead forward through their own ideas and efforts.
AWOTTA chairperson Mary Kalikawe said her organisation has hit ground running. “What Dana Banks says is very true. Our country has unparallel potential in tourism sector, and women should be amongst those at the forefront to lead it in the next phase of growth,” she said.
She expressed her gratitude to the American Embassy, Hotel Association of Tanzania (HAT) and Tanzania Private sector Foundation - Cluster Competitiveness Programme (CCP) for supporting AWOTTA.
HAT executive secretary Fatma Khamis and an alumna from a US exchange programme, said the new association would partner with stakeholders as well as development partners to move forward the tourism industry by identifying the current challenges and contributing towards sustainable solutions. “We will not forget women students in tourism and mentorship is one of our core components,” she said.