Chinese tourists are eyeing Tanzania, attracted by abundant wildlife resources, the warm beaches of Zanzibar, cultural and historical heritage sites in both – the mainland and the island.
Other than the traditional European and American tourist markets, Tanzania is now eyeing Chinese tourists, mostly ‘photographic’ holidaymakers, to explore the country’s wildlife parks.
China’s fast growing and lucrative outbound travel market has about 150 million Chinese tourists traveling outside their country every year.
Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism had asked the Chinese Embassy in Dar es Salaam to devise joint strategies that would help to reach various parts of China and facilitate travel between China and Tanzania.
Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, Mohamed Mchengerwa, held discussions earlier with the Chinese Ambassador to Tanzania, Chen Mingjian, and said Tanzania aims to attract more Chinese visitors to its most attractive tourist sites.
Mr. Mchengerwa said that China alone could help Tanzania to reach its target of five million tourists by the year 2025, banking on the strong Chinese outbound tourist market.
Data from the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) indicates that about 45,000 tourists from China are expected to visit Tanzania by the end of this year (2023), up from about 35,000 Chinese tourists currently recorded per year, mostly business travelers.
Tanzania is among eight African countries which have been approved by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) in Beijing as tourist destination for Chinese travelers.
Other African tourist destinations working on attracting Chinese visitors are Kenya, Seychelles, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Mauritius, and Zambia.
Tanzania is currently implementing an aviation agreement with China for Air Tanzania Company Limited (ATCL) to operate direct flights between Tanzania and China, from Dar es Salaam to Guangzhou.
The UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has recognized China as an upcoming major source of outbound tourists in the world.
A group of about 40 Chinese tourism business executives are currently in Tanzania on familiarization tour of Zanzibar beaches, wildlife parks, cultural and historical sites, developing strategies of attracting Chinese holidaymakers and tourism sector investments.
The Chinese tourism executives are expected to hold business discussions with the Tanzanian tourist counterparts, aiming to get to know each other, then create partnerships between the Chinese and Tanzanian tourism players.