TANZANIA (eTN) – In an effort to promote Tanzania as an African tourist destination in the United States, the Tanzanian Minister for Tourism, Mr. Khamis Kagasheki, has appointed three prominent American personalities as Goodwill Tourism Ambassadors in America.
The Tourism Minister has appointed Patrick Steenberge, President, Global Football; Macon Dunnagan, the Kilimanjaro Expedition Director; and Dr. Philip Imler, President of the Seven Natural Wonders as the three Goodwill Tourism Ambassadors in the US.
Speaking about the appointments, Mr. Kagasheki said tourism is currently the leading economic sector for Tanzania, and the United States is Tanzania’s most significant tourist-generating market.
“For this reason, we recognize the pivotal role that Goodwill Ambassadors can have on impacting key agenda items of the country through marketing, promotion, and facilitation of strategic partnerships in their special areas of influence,” he said.
Each of the three Goodwill Tourism Ambassadors has already made a huge impact on Tanzania tourism. Patrick Steenberge, President of Texas-based Global Football, was the visionary who brought the first-ever American college football game played on African soil to Tanzania in May of 2011.
The first game of famous American football was staged in northern Tanzania’s tourist city of Arusha and attracted thousands of fans through American television stations.
The game itself, played between Drake University from Iowa and an all-star team from the CONADEIP conference of schools in Mexico, generated enormous press coverage including local television stations in Tanzania, ESPN Magazine, and a 45-minute documentary broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
“But the true highlight was the goodwill and friendships that were created when the players and their families and friends who joined them in Tanzania, completed a charity climb of Kilimanjaro and participated in volunteer projects to benefit the local communities,” Mr. Kagasheki said.
The visiting players and coaches also held American football clinics to introduce more than 500 local youngsters to the sport. The impact in the sports world and in the communities is on-going for Tanzania, and Global Football is planning a second game and philanthropic visit to Tanzania in the near future, said the Minister.
Macon Dunnagan, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has led many charity and philanthropic climbs up Mount Kilimanjaro. He has climbed “The Roof of Africa” 26 times, and by September this year, will have completed his 30th summit.
He is also the current record-holder for climbing Kilimanjaro 4 times in 28 days and has used his position to raise funds for Ovarian Cancer Canada’s “Expedition of Hope” and the Rotary District 7680’s “End Polio Now.”
In 2001, Dunnagan published his first book about the snows of Kilimanjaro and has been a frequent speaker on behalf of Tanzania at trade shows throughout the US.
The other prominent personality, Dr. Philip Imler, is the Founder and President of Seven Natural Wonders. Dr. Imler was in Tanzania in February of this year to announce the Serengeti National Park as the number one winner for Africa in a world -wide voting campaign for the “Seven Natural Wonders of Africa.”
Dr. Impler also announced Tanzania’s world-famous Mount Kilimanjaro, the tallest free-standing mountain in Africa, and the Ngorongoro Crater were also among the top winners for Africa.
The contest to get Seven Natural Wonders on the African continent made Tanzania the only country in the continent to have the most winning nominations, which generated enormous prestige and publicity for Tanzania tourism.