Coordinator of the cultural tourism at the College of Africa Wildlife Management-Mweka (CAWM), Richard Kisasembe, made the call when speaking with this paper here yesterday
Kasasembe explained that, there have so many opportunities to invest in tourism sector, and Culture tourism is among the big opportunities.
He called upon Tanzanians to invest in tourism sector especially cultural tourism by utilising resources surrounding them.
“Mweka Cultural Tourism Enterprise is a community based sustainable tourism program conducted in Mweka and adjacent villages in Moshi rural, Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania”, he said.
He added: “It is a health and hiking trail around Mount Kilimanjaro that was legally registered by the Tanzania Tourists Board (TTB) in 2018. It is environmentally friendly programme dedicated to support local people living at Mweka especially women and young who jointly offer cultural products and services”,
He explained that the enterprise stimulates responsible travel that ensures win-win situation and the program therefore is designated to benefit everyone who provides cultural product in anyway and offer memorable experience to the visitors.
Kisasembe mentioned some of the Mweka heritage tourism sites as the ancient Chagga underground tunnel walkway, traditional foods and beverage experience, the ancient Kibosho Catholic Church built by early missionaries from Europe together with locals during pre-colonial era, waterfalls tour, and experiencing Chagga dances, among many others.
Commenting on the cultural heritage Tourism in Tanzania, Kisasembe explained that, in the past decades, cultural heritage tourism focused overwhelmingly on the patrimony of the privileged like castles, cathedrals, and stately homes, but there is now widespread acknowledgment of everyday landscapes that depict the lives of ordinary people.
“These include music, dance, language, religion, cuisine, artistic traditions, and festivals; and United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have singled out cultural heritage tourism as one of the most suitable forms of community development for developing countries...”, Kisasembe explained.
According to him, heritage tourism, if planned based on the needs and values of communities can benefit both tourists and residents.
“In coastal areas especially, urban and industrial developments may create negative impacts on historic coastal communities and their traditional way of life”, he further enlightened.