Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The coming of Obama is a bless for tourism sector, says Nyalandu

AS petty traders in the city of Dar es Salaam raised serious concerns about their relocation from their trading areas at the city centre last week, citing the exercise is done to clear the environment for the visiting US President Barrack Obama and his entourage, Deputy Minister for Tourism has said that, his coming is a bless to tourism industry in the country. Lazaro Nyalandu threw a challenge in an exclusive talk with the media personnel after he had welcomed visitors from various corners in African countries who attended a tourism stand in an open exhibition in the afternoon during the conference on the global smart partnership which ended on Sunday. He said that, the visiting US Head of State will advertise the tourism industry in the country and this is a great honor for the government as the industry still has untapped potential opportunity that requires urgent investments. “The coming of US President Obama is a bless to our nation and Tanzanians at large must be proud of especially stakeholders of the tourism sector as this is one way to increase our internal market values and potentialities” he said adding that, the sector is currently picking up. Narrating on the benefits so far attained during the previous trading periods of 2012/13, he said that, the government has earned about $ 1.5 billion (Sh. 2.8 trillion)compared to $ 950 million (Sh. 1.2 trillion) during the 2011/12 trading period. However, he said adding that, the government intends to increase the number of the tourists who visited the country from the current 1.5 tourists who visited the country in 2012 to over 2 million in the coming two years to come by a constant increased of 10 percent respectively. 

He said that, his ministry has embarked on effective information technology systems for the dissemination of the tourism information and news to the masses in the world, however, this is an advanced stage unlike before whereby people had to access such information in brochures published in form of tour guides. He said, the government through his ministry is trying all it can in order to strengthen the internal tourism round market opportunities to the outside world by coordinating in network information systems developed by the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) who have now and then been posting relevant information in websites. He said through these activities, Tanzania has been voted to be the first leading African country in African continent to have preserved up-to-date information on tourism. However, he said and added that such information includes the number of national park as most famous tourism destination centres. His ministry has laid down a strategic plan whereby it would makes sure that tourism sector in the country expands in such a way that it surpasses other African countries because Tanzania is blessed with rich tourism potentials such as national parks, and the Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa and the second highest in the world. In view of this, the government through his ministry has scraped off the 18 percent VAT charged on tourism services that includes transportation of tourists, VAT on vehicles, flights and other parking fees. He has also pledged to work against those who in one way or another are obstructing the avenues through which the government earns its revenues.

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