TRAVEL GAZETTE – Tanzania recorded a slight drop in tourists visiting the east African nation last year against previous three years impressive tourist arrivals.
Jumanne Maghembe, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, told the National Assembly in the country’s political capital Dodoma that the slight drop affected earnings from the tourism industry although the sector maintained its status as the number one foreign exchange earner in the country for the previous three consecutive years.
Magembe said the number of tourists dropped by 37,987 from around 1.14 million recorded in 2014 to about 1.10 million in 2015.
The drop in visitors has also occasioned a drop in foreign exchange earnings from the tourism sector from 2 billion U.S. dollars in 2014 to 1.93 billion dollars last year, said the minister.
Maghembe said his ministry will chart out concrete strategies to improve the sector and enable it to increase the number of tourists visiting the country that boasted of abundant tourist attractions.
Maghembe also outlined plans to control poaching and illegal trading in government trophies.
“This strategy was launched in November 2014 and work which has been done include employing personnel who conduct patrols in national parks and other tourists attraction sites,” he said.
The minister added: “A total of 558 people, including 447 game wardens and 111 other officers have so far been recruited under this strategy.”
In collaboration with other stakeholders, the ministry has been able to get more working tools and facilities for the anti-poaching drive, he said.
“My ministry has also improved the use of drones in patrols as well as tracking of poachers and endangered wildlife,” Maghembe has said.
He added: “Some of the facilities which we have bought include 24 patrol vehicles, 30 patrol motorcycles, 50 GPS gadgets, 130 tents, 50 communication facilities, 50 generators, unmanned aviation vehicles (drones) and two light aircraft.”