After the Tanzanian President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, had officially launched the tourist premier Royal Tour documentary in the United States and Tanzania, a new dawn for tourism development in Tanzania and East Africa has been observed.
There is a clear optimism among the tourism industry stakeholders that the Royal Tour initiative will transform tourism in Tanzania and East Africa through the inflow of holidaymakers and tourist investors in hotels, ground tour operations, and airlines.
Over 30 tourism agents from the US, France, Bulgaria, and other European countries have indicated their intents to visit Tanzania, then explore tourist attractions, ready for marketing the same in their home countries.
The film is expected to raise Tanzania’s tourism and investment portfolio across the world by its contents, the Tanzanian president said.
She said that the film shooting cost 7 billion Tanzanian Shillings (US$3 million) that was donated by various stakeholders including tourist companies and the private business stakeholders.
President Samia said the idea for shooting the Royal Tour documentary was conceived by the Tanzanian diaspora in the United States who had suggested for such a premier tourist film, aiming to raise Tanzania’s tourism from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We expect to get more tourists and visitors to Tanzania through this documentary,” said the Tanzania President.
Tourism is a delicate sector which needs the topmost priority to save it from the current global challenges, mostly the impacts of COVID-19, a driving force which had attracted herself and other stakeholders to come up with the Royal Tour documentary.
The Royal Tour documentary is part of a Tanzanian government target to increase the number of tourists from the current 1.5 million to 5 million tourists in 2025 under Samia’s administration.
The Tanzania tourism sector employs 4.5% of Tanzania’s population through direct and indirect jobs, while contributing 17% to the national gross domestic product.
Samia said that the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2019 had caused a loss of employment to about 412,000 people who were employed in the tourist sector within various sections.
“This situation made us to go for the Royal Tour documentary to attract more tourists to come, then visit Tanzania,” she said.
“Tanzania will now be prepared to receive more tourists so, business companies should take this advantage to establish more hotels, and tour operators should be well equipped to handle tourists with airports set for more visitors landing in Tanzania,” she said.
The Royal Tour documentary will also help to expose Tanzania beyond tourism by highlighting other key productive sectors including agriculture, energy, and mining.
After its official launching in Tanzania, now the documentary will be circulated to all television stations freely for public screening. Other tourism media outlets are also encouraged to screen and explain the documentary as well.
The Royal Tour documentary has highlighted the premier wildlife parks of Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Serengeti, Mkomazi Rhino Sanctuary, Lake Manyara, and Arusha National Parks in Northern Tanzania’s tourist circuit, along with the rich Indian Ocean beaches on both the mainland and on Zanzibar, plus cultural and historical heritages of Bagamoyo and Zanzibar.
Other than guiding the viewers to Tanzania’s premier tourism attractions, President Samia also discussed Tanzanians’ qualities of warmth, friendship, openness, generous hospitality, and a wealth of their intangible cultural heritage legacies.
The attractive documentary was recorded in Tanzania between August 2021 and early September 2021, then launched for the first time in New York on April 18 and Los Angeles, then Tanzania late in April and early in May.
The USA tourist market stands as the leading source of tourists visiting Tanzania, President Samia said.
Americans are rated the higher spenders for quality tourism, mostly trophy hunters and safari holiday makers in Tanzania’s wildlife parks and Mount Kilimanjaro trekking expeditions.
Key and leading tourist markets in Africa, which Tanzania is lobbying through the documentary (Royal Tour), are Kenya and South Africa.
Kenya is the leading source market for overland tourists traveling by safari vehicle between Nairobi to northern Tanzania, mostly East African citizens and foreign visitors landing in Nairobi from Europe, Asia, the Americas, and other African states.
The documentary is expected to attract tourists on safari, visiting other African countries, mostly Tanzania’s neighboring states, to extend their visiting itineraries, then visit Tanzania.
The number of tourist arrivals in Tanzania declined dramatically to 621,000 in 2020 after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the President said when launching the Royal Tour documentary in Dar es Salaam.
Tanzania registered 1.5 million tourists who generated US$2.6 billion in 2019 shortly before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tourism continues to play an important role in Tanzania’s economic growth and remains among the fastest growing sectors in Tanzania.