A Senior economist at the World Bank has suggested that there is a need to develop the Southern circuit and other tourism products which has been largely undertapped in order to spur growth and job creation in Tanzania.
Presenting a paper titled “Tourism and Development in Tanzania: Leveraging Transformation through the Impact of Sectoral Linkage and FDI Effects,’ Dr Josaphat Kweka said the northern circuit is becoming overexploited and there is a growing concern over environmental issues.
The national conference on Unleashing Growth Potentials in Tanzania: Lessons and Way Forward in Creating an Inclusive Growth was organised by the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF)
He said sustainable tourism will require developing the Southern Circuit (Selous, Ruaha, and Udzungwa), in order to relieve pressure from the Northern Circuit. Also there is a need to develop a strategy for coastal tourism products.
“Planning and coordination are needed to ensure tourism product development achieves a balance between the tourist activity and its scale in relation with the absorptive capacity of different ecosystems, local culture and sustainable exploitation,” he suggested
According to him that may require Tanzania Investment Centre to be more pro-active in soliciting more investors to invest in tourism product diversification in Tanzania.
He also recommended on significant opportunities for strengthening tourism forward and backward linkages in the local economy in order to enhance FDI tourism impact.
Most important of these require assisting local entrepreneurs to increase the value of agriculture production through improved techniques for processing (along the supply chain) and enforcement of quality standards for fruits and vegetables, meat (including poultry) and other food products; packaging and storage to increase shelf life and hygiene;
“Improve the value of locally-made furniture through increased capacity and better trained employees; and improve road and information infrastructure to enhance communication between buyers and sellers for timely delivery and availability,” he said.
Dr Kweka said major efforts are required to improve infrastructure, particularly roads (including those at destination points) and airports (including small inland airstrips) to enhance access both of tourist and FDI inflows.
Other infrastructure requirements such as utilities like water and electricity are within the ambit of broader business environment, and whose solutions are medium to longer term.
“Addressing them much quicker will reassure further inflow of FDI and improve business environment for more investment,” he noted.
Foreign investment can assist the government in ameliorating the problems through greater investment in infrastructure in partnership with the government and the local private sector, he said.