Earlier last month, Tanzania opened its borders for international tourism. A major portion of the nation’s GDP depends on the tourism and hospitality segment. Tanzania has been one of the destinations to keep the covid-19 numbers in check.
Speaking about the development, Devota Mdachi, Managing Director, Tanzania Tourist Board said, “We are one of the first countries in African region to open tourism. The number of covid-19 patients is very low. We are ready to receive tourists from across the globe. The Ministry of Health and Tourism have come up with various precautions and SOPs and guidelines. All major airports have screening machines, mask compulsory, sanitisers available in many points. Hotels and operators have got a mandate to follow SOPs and also come up with their own SOPs. We welcomed the first international airline, Ethiopian Airline after nearly two months, which is a very positive sign. We are very excited and soon when India will be open, Air Tanzania will resume its flights to Mumbai, and we look forward to welcome Indian travellers.”
The interaction was organized by Koncept Africa, a totally Africa centric vertical of Pearl Tourism & Leisure Group which is well equipped to help create a suitable package for Tanzania and other major African destinations.
Speaking about the destination Jayesh Ashar, Managing Director, Pearl Tourism & Leisure Group said, “Tanzania is a unique destination that offers a huge gamut of attractions, activities, landscapes and choice of accommodation. It’s a dynamic package destination in true sense! The main factors that will influence travel to TZ are; Visa on arrival and e-visa facility available for Indian travellers; Direct flights from India to TZ with convenient timings, only 6 hrs flying time; Strict COVID-19 protocol in place for visitors safety; Medium to high end budget packages available; Easy availability of Indian cuisine including Jain food.”
In terms of marketing strategies to instill confidence amongst tourists, Tanzania has come up with a short and a long-term tourism strategy. The destination will also look to organize a roadshow in India end of this year or early next year. “After the outbreak and decision to close the borders, we were impacted. We reached a point where there were zero tourism. Tourism is our number one priority sector. It affected employment and economy of Tanzania. Now that we have opened up, we are looking at best ways to promote so that tourism numbers trickle down to Tanzania. We know that other destinations are also aiming to open. Our short-term plans where we have invested a lot on online marketing, we have done some live streaming to showcase the destination. We worked with the Serengeti live Show company to showcase what’s happening in Serengeti,” she said adding that Tanzania will hold a roadshow in India later this year or early next year to show what Tanzania has got to offer and what the government has put in place for safety and health of the travellers. “For long term plan, we are looking to appoint a representative and PR in India next year. We will also conduct some fam trips for trade and journalists from India market to showcase our uniqueness,” she informed.
In 2019, the destination welcomed 49,000 travellers from India. Now, with a direct Air Tanzania connection to Mumbai, the tourism board is anticipating rise in numbers. “We have a large Indian community in Tanzania, and we have people speaking Indian languages and also Indian food is easily available here. With Air Tanzania connection the numbers will surely increase,” she informed.
With the new protocols in place social distancing is a major guideline for every business. Tanzania is now promoting newer destinations to divert traffic throughout the nation.
She further said, “The safety and health of our guest is our priority. We have put social distancing in practice and for safari vehicle can have maximum 4 guests in a vehicle and vehicles are sanitized in frequent intervals. The best circuit for the first-time traveler is the Northern circuit. Also, most travellers combine Northern circuit along with Zanzibar. Now we are also promoting southern tourism circuit which are unique and unexplored. We are also trying to divert traffic to western part of the nation. Travellers should at least look at a six to seven-night itinerary.”