Tanzania has embarked on a $1.5 million tourism rebranding project to attract more tourist arrivals into the country. The project will include a film and television commercials that will air worldwide on networks like BBC and CNN.
According to tourism minister Lazaro Nyalandu, ‘The Re-branding Destination Tanzania’ project is expected result in an increase in the number of tourists that enter the country with a goal of attracting at least 2.5 million tourists per year in the next 5 years.
He said the US-based Pursuit Production is currently filming tourist attractions in Zanzibar, the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro and the Ngorongoro Crater, among others. ‘I am optimistic that the advertisements would boost tourist arrivals,’ he said, adding that once filming has been completed, President Kikwete would preview the advertisements before the scheduled launch next month.
The tourism sector currently constitutes about 3.4 percent of Tanzania’s total GDP and employs approximately 500,000 Tanzanians. In 2013, a total of 1,135,884 tourists visited the country, bringing earnings from the Tanzania tourism sector to an historical high of $1.8bn.
According to a recently released World Bank report, the country’s tourism industry could generate as much as $16bn by 2025, which would lead to even more job creation and increased revenues over the next 10 years. ‘Tanzania is poised to reach middle-income status, and tourism can be leveraged to promote faster economic growth, additional productive jobs, more fiscal revenues and additional foreign exchange earnings,’ Jacques Morisset
WBG lead economist for Tanzania and author of the report, said.
To help the country reach its goal to increase tourism revenue eightfold by 2025, the report outlines three pillars to address current tourism challenges. The first is the diversification of the industry to include both expanding geographic options and other tourist attractions that meet the expectations of a broader range of tourists, such as beach activities, cultural as well as business tourism.
Secondly, Tanzania’s tourism industry is not creating enough high-value, productive jobs for local workers, with an average worker making only one-third of what his or her counterpart makes in Kenya. In addition, many resorts rely on imported materials, equipment and food. Proactive policies, developed jointly by the public and private sectors, are needed to address these two areas with the goal of enhancing local skills and quality to meet the standards of this highly competitive industry.
The third pillar, according to the World Bank, is an improvement in the quality of governance. It says the tourism industry is currently constrained by the imposition of multiple taxes and levies that discourage investors, particularly small investors and increases opportunities for rent seeking and corruption. ‘This pillar involves the implementation of a fair, business-friendly taxation system and the development of transparent redistribution mechanisms, including to local stakeholders,’ the report said.