According to a Consolidated Zonal Economic Report by Bank of Tanzania for the period ended September 2018 released last Friday, the number of visitors increased by 21.2 percent to 688,252 from 567,761during the same period.
“The improvement in both number of visitors and earnings in all zones was largely associated with on-going promotional campaigns undertaken by government agencies and investment in supportive infrastructures particularly roads to national parks,” said the report.
The report further noted that the Northern tourist enclave remained a dominant zone accounting for 74 percent of the total earnings which translates into 93.675bn/- which was more than the 66.721bn/- contributed during the corresponding period in 2017.
But the South Eastern Zone remained a poor showing with a contribution of the lowest income at 96.2m/- only which was a slight increase of the 92m/- it registered in the previous year. The Southern tourism enclave’s poor performance is a result of lack of availability of appropriate infrastructure.
The BoT report seems to concur with a World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) report released last October which forecasted that international tourist arrivals to the country will peak over 1.9 million in 2028.
The 2018 World Ranking of 185 countries of relative importance of tourism to gross domestic product predicted the country’s travel and tourism which currently sits second in contributing to GDP, will maintain the same position for the next decade.
Other government initiatives taken to revive institutions such as Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) have also contributed to the growth and will further boost numbers next year when ATCL planes start flying to India and China this year.
ATCL has also announced to start flights to southern African countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe before taking on South Africa.