Tanzania: Govt Uplifts Domestic Tourism

IF travelling long distances in search of tourist attractions deters you from doing domestic tourism, the challenge may soon be over as the government moves to decentralize tourism centres.

Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Damas Ndumbaro acknowledged that having many tourist attractions within only few specific places is hampering growth of domestic tourism in the country.

“What we are now doing is to decentralize the tourism centres by bringing them closer to the people in order to make more Tanzanians able to go for domestic tourism, and thus boost government revenues in the process,” Dr Ndumbaro told the ‘Sunday News’ during a telephone interview yesterday.

He argued that for many years now, tourism centres were jam-packed in only a few regions, with Arusha being the most popular.

“This has been so difficult for people, for instance, it is unfair for people from regions such as Kagera, Simiyu or Mwanza being forced to go as far as Arusha for domestic tourism. We want to have many centres across the country to localize tourism and thus address this challenge,” the minister explained.

He said the recent move to declare Chato district as a tourism hub in the Lake Zone was in line with efforts to decentralize the tourism centres in the country.

Lake Zone was among the country’s areas where the government was yet to identify a tourism hub.

Dr Ndumbaro said declaring Chato a tourism hub will bring benefits to the nation since revenues coming from tourism in the district will go to the public coffers to finance development projects.