Tanzania: Major Boost For Tourism With President Samia’s Royal Tour Documentary

By Prosper Makene

Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan in a photo during the production for the Royal Tour Documentary

The number of tourist arrivals in Tanzania during the quarter ending June 2022 rose by 63.9 percent to 71,346 from 43,535 recorded in the corresponding quarter in 2021, thanks to President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s Royal Tour Documentary which has been one of the reasons, the Bank of Tanzania’s report said in its quarter ending June 2022.

The BoT report which unveiled in August said: “The increase was on account of lifting travel restrictions in many countries and Government’s continued efforts to promote tourism attractions within and outside the country, particularly the launch of the Royal Tour Documentary.”

Meanwhile, the Royal Tour, Tanzania’s official tourism campaign, was launched after a trip that President Samia Suluhu took to the US. A documentary by the same name was launched to publicise the country’s tourism and investment opportunities.

The tourism campaign idea was mooted by Tanzanians living in the US. They suggested it to revamp the country’s tourism sector after the Covid-19 pandemic.

Several corporates, tourist companies and private business people donated up to Tsh7 billion ($3 million) for the making of the documentary. President Samia said at the Dar es Salaam launch that the country was expecting to get more tourists through the documentary.

The Royal Tour documentary highlights Kilimanjaro National Park, Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Serengeti and Mkomazi nature reserves, Manyara and Arusha — the gems of the northern tourist circuit, Indian Ocean beaches, and the cultural and historical heritage found in Bagamoyo and Zanzibar.

The documentary was shot between August and September last year, and was screened in New York on April 18, Los Angeles on April 21, Arusha on April 28, Zanzibar on May 7, and Dar es Salaam on May 8.

The choice of a US launch was deliberate as Tanzania is seeking high spenders looking for unique experiences such as trophy hunting and safaris, and to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

However, Tanzania is a country with many tourist attractions. Approximately 38 percent of Tanzania’s land area is set aside in protected areas for conservation.

Travel and tourism contributed 17.5 percent of Tanzania’s gross domestic product, in 2019, the Tanzanian tourism sector generated US$2.6 billion in revenues with 1.5 million tourist arrivals.

In 2020, due to Covid-19, travel receipts declined to US$1.06 billion and the number of international tourist arrivals declined to 616,491.

In October 2021, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism of Tanzania has been granted TSh.90 billion/- for the financial year 2021-2022, part of the IMF loan for emergency financial assistance to support Tanzania’s efforts in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tanzania has almost 38% of its land reserved as protected areas, one of the world’s highest percentage.

The East Africa nation boasts with 17 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas (including the Ngorongoro Conservation Area) and marine parks. Tanzania is also home to Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa.

The country is also a home to a large variety of animal life. Among the large mammals include the Big five, cheetahs, wildebeest, giraffes, hippopotamuses and various antelopes.

Tanzania’s most well known wildlife attractions are located in the northern part of the country and include the Serengeti National Park, Tarangire National Park and Lake Manyara National Park.

The Serengeti National park encompasses the world-famous great migrations of animals. The Serengeti National Park is the most popular park in the country and had the chance to host more than 330,000 visitors in 2012.

In 2018, Serengeti National Park was voted the best African Safari Park following the depth study conducted by SafariBookings the largest online marketplace for African safaris. In their website, it reads, In total 2,530 reviews were examined from the SafariBookings website. The 1,670 user reviews were contributed by safari tourists from 72 countries. To complement these user reviews, reputable guidebook authors (working for Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, Frommer’s, Bradt and Footprint) teamed up in the SafariBookings Expert Panel to write 860 expert reviews

The north is also home to the Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro Conservation Area includes the Ngorongoro Crater, which is an extinct volcanic caldera with lions, hippopotamus, elephants, various types of antelope, the endangered black rhinoceros, and large herds of wildebeest and zebra. Olduvai Gorge, considered to be the seat of humanity after the discovery of the earliest known specimens of the human genus, Homo habilis as well as early hominidae, such as Paranthropus boisei also lies within the conservation area.

The western part of Tanzania includes the Mahale, Katavi, and Gombe national parks, the latter of which is the site of Jane Goodall’s ongoing study, begun in 1960, of chimpanzee behaviour.

The country is also particularly rich in plant diversity, the Tanzania National Parks Authority has an entire national park the Kitulo National Park dedicated to flowers. There is a wide variety of biomass across the nation.

The eastern part of Tanzania includes Nyerere National Park (formerly the northern part of Selous Game Reserve) is the largest national park in Tanzania and also one of the world’s largest wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. The total area of the park is 30,893 km2 (11,928 sq mi) and covers a big part of the Liwale District in the western Lindi Region, southwest Pwani Region, and northeastern Ruvuma Region, and a big part of southeastern Morogoro Region.

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