Tanzania is now targeting conference tourists in its plan to attract meetings and conference visitors as a way to diversify wildlife-based tourism into other tourist-pulling magnets including historical, geographical, and cultural heritages.
The National Convention Bureau (NCB) has been established to promote conference tourism. Other plans underway include diversification of tourist products other than wildlife resources which has been a major tourism garner for this African destination.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Dr. Aloyce Nzuki, said that Tanzania’s diplomatic offices in various countries around the world will be used to canvass for more international conferences to be held in Tanzania.
The NCB is under the coordination of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB), charged to handle all arrangements and bookings for international conferences, symposiums, conventions, and other meetings, Dr. Nzuki noted.
A special conference and convention center is be established in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam at the seaside Kigamboni satellite city, a recreational and beach site suitable for local and international-class tourists.
Conference tourism as a key tourism product that has not been properly tapped into in the past, despite its huge potential to complement the numerous beach and wildlife attractions that abound in Tanzania.
Last month, the Ministry of Tourism launched an electronic database to monitor the quality of tourist and visitor accommodation services in the country as a strategy that would help speed up visitor services.
The database will monitor income statuses among visitors to the country and their individual abilities to afford service costs at accommodation facilities other than expensive hotels and lodges which offer higher expensive packages.
The Accommodation Services in Tanzania will match East African Hotel Classification criteria to determine the quality of service delivery to tourists and other visitors to Tanzania and other East African Community (EAC) states, Dr. Nzuki said.
The electronic database will also help tourism authorities to get information from the Approved Accommodation Facilities in Tanzania so as to ensure quality services to clients to match EAC standards.
Approved Accommodation Facilities are the town hotels, vacation hotels, lodges, motels, tented camps, villas, cottages, serviced apartments, and R=restaurants.
By the end of last year, Tanzania had a total of 308 registered accommodation facilities with Star Class, up from 67 available over the past 5 years.
Tanzania’s plan to diversify tourism is on the same path with the concept of the African Tourism Board (ATB) to promote and market Africa’s tourist heritage with a strategy to make this continent the world’s leading tourist destination in the near future.
The ATB chairman, Mr. Cuthbert Ncube, said that Africa needs to diversify its rich and abundant tourist attractions in such a way that visitors would spend more time to visit each available product.
Mr. Ncube said that regional and intra-Africa tourism development could be an optional step that would also help African states mitigate COVID-19 impacts on tourism through their own resources to be shared among themselves through holiday travels within the continent.
He said lockdowns imposed in Europe, the United States of America, and other tourist-source markets have devastated African tourism with a big blow to the continent’s overall economy.
“We need to open intra-Africa travel by diversifying of tourist sites including the continent’s rich cultural heritages, historical, and nature-protected areas which attract our own people in addition to wildlife attracting Europeans, Americans, and other visitors outside the continent,” Ncube said.