Tuesday, November 8, 2016
Tanzanians witnesses the revival of their local airline
It was assumed to have died and never resurrected to continue its normal operation, the Air Tanzania Corporation Limited ATCL once the leading among East African airline has come back with a force which Tanzanians bides farewell to its existence in the country. Last week, the airline launched its routes to Mwanza, Arusha and Zanzibar, with the management saying the company is prepared and ready to offer high quality and reliable services. For many years, ATCL operated poorly due to lack of aircraft, which would have offered reliable services to its passengers. Flight cancelation and delays became normal for ATCL. All these issues weakened the company. As ATCL became weaker, private owned companies recorded good performance. Majority Tanzanians decided to fly with private owned companies as the national carrier kept struggling to catch up with changes in the market. Last week, the company’s Director General, Mr Ladislaus Matindi said his company is determined to ensure there is no delay or flight cancellation. He said the company is ready for the business and it has already set strategies that will enable it to compete in the market. With the revival of ATCL and purchase of new aircraft, it is obvious things will change for the better. Among sectors that expected to improve is tourism. Globally, aviation business has been a crucial factor for the growth of tourism sector. The connectivity provided by international air transport facilitates the fast-growing global tourism industry. It is estimated that over half of international tourists travel to their destination by air. Tourism makes a major contribution to the global economy. It directly contributed 2.2 trillion US dollars to the world GDP, almost 10 percent of the global economy, in 2015 and provided over 108 million jobs globally. By 2024, the World Travel & Tourism Council expects direct employment in the tourism industry to be more than 126 million people globally. When looking at the jobs and GDP supported through the indirect and induced impacts of tourism, the figures are significantly higher at 285 million jobs, 8.7percent of employment, and 7.2 trillion US dollars or 9.8 percent of the global economy.
By 2026, tourism could support some 370 million jobs and 11 trillion dollar in GDP. Tourism sector is important in many developing countries, including Tanzania. With such prospects at global level and the ongoing fifth government efforts to revive ATCL, it is obvious Tanzania will not be left out of these successes in the tourism sector, employment opportunities and total economic growth. According to the ATCL’s plans, in the few coming years, the company will be able to fly across the country and beyond. This means ATCL will be able to fly tourists to all regions at affordable prices and reliable services. President John Magufuli said last Friday that his government is looking forward to revive the national carrier and ensure it promotes tourism. The Head of State is aware of the aviation contribution to the growth of the country’s economy, especially through tourism sector. He said more new planes are coming and that in few years to come ATCL will be plying to international routes. Various reports show that over 54 percent of international tourists now travel by air. In Africa, an estimated 5.8 million people are employed in areas supported by the steady influx of overseas visitors, most of whom arrive in the region by air, and contributed 46bn/-US dollar to GDP in African economies in 2014. In 2014, the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) said the country was eying at 2 million tourists arrivals by 2017. Tourists arrival broke the 1 million-barrier for the first time in 2012 when the number of foreign visitors surged 24 per cent. The country receives an average of 1.1 million tourists a year. The number rose 1.7 per cent in 2013 to 1.095 million, bringing in 1.85bn/- US dollar. Most of the visitors came from Britain, Germany, the United States and Italy. Tourism is Tanzania’s numberone foreign currency earner. It’s quite clear that with the revival of the national carrier, Tanzania will be able to offer travel and tourism services accordingly. This will probably help to strengthen tourism sector and boost the country’s economy.