Tanzania mulls new national tourism policy

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-24 20:53:44|Editor: Yurou
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ARUSHA, Tanzania, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Tanzania has started formulating a new National Tourism Policy to replace the old one which has existed for 18 years and does not conform with the latest development in the tourism sector, an official said on Thursday.

Aloyce Nzuki, Tanzania's deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, revealed this when he met with stakeholders who had gathered here to review the National Tourism Policy of 1999.

He noted that drafting of the new National Tourism Policy will consider issues on Conference Tourism, Historical and Cultural Heritage Sites, Eco-Tourism, Beach Tourism and Tourism Supply Chain, among others.

According to Nzuki, for many years, Tanzanian tourism sector has banked heavily on wildlife-based safaris, forgetting that the world is changing and people need other attractions such as cultural tourism, visiting historical sites, eco-tourism, conference tourism and water-based visits featuring beach lazing and sun basking.

He said: "In the new policy, we will see how the public sector can be involved in the tourism business, especially in the hospitality department like accommodation."

He added that Tanzanian government can lead in building hotels to be run by internationally recognized chains.

Nzuki argued that currently, the government is losing a lot of money to international tourist coordination organization who book hotels for tourists but do not remit all money in the country.

"We're currently reviewing the 1999 National Tourism Policy to come up with a new document that will serve as a guideline towards improving the country's tourism industry in the coming years," the official stressed.

Nzuki revealed that tourism sector contribution to the national economy is quite great, saying it contributes 17.5 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 25 percent of the nation's foreign exchange.

He said the ongoing review of the policy is under the consultancy of the Tanzania's policy research think tank, Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF) through the funding from the World Bank.

Raphael Mwalyosi from ESRF observed that the new policy would take in account different forms of tourism.

"The 1999 policy even causes conflicts between institutions within the tourism sector and entire natural resources and tourism ministry, thus the need for a new document," he said.