Tanzanian Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan has launched a World Bank-funded project aimed at promoting tourist destinations located in the southern tourist circuit.
Dubbed Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth (REGROW), the project is meant to improve infrastructure challenges like roads.
Speaking at the official launch of the project in Iringa’s Kihesa-Kilolo area, Samia thanked the World Bank for its support to Tanzania’s tourism sector, saying it meant a lot as it intends to emancipate the people from abject poverty.
She described REGROW as a new tool toward unleashing tourism potentials in the southern circuit, which is rich in thrilling tourist destinations but sees very few tourists visiting, because of factors such as lack of adequate roads and airstrips.
“The government is committed to making a change in the sector to ensure that we expand the network and also to develop strong strategies for promoting tourist attractions in the southern regions,” she said.
Samia mentioned some tourist attractions in the southern regions, such as the historical areas of Kalenga and Isimila Stone Age Site in Iringa region, Mbozi meteorite in Songwe Region, and Kalambo Falls in Rukwa region.
Other tourist destinations include Lake Ngozi in the Mbeya region, good beaches on the shores of Indian Ocean in Mtwara and Lindi regions, and Lake Nyasa beaches in Mbeya region.
According to Samia, the REGROW project has come to address all the challenges thwarting visibility of the tourism potentials in southern highlands. She urged Tanzanians to work together to ensure its implementation becomes productive since the World Bank fund is a soft loan.
Tanzania’s Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism Hamis Kigwangalla said the launch of the project would open tourist doors and increase economic opportunities for people living around the national parks.