Tanzania is set to venture into the hefty promotion of nature-based tourism in the east African nation’s nature forest reserves, a senior official said on Thursday.
Donsantos Silayo, chief executive officer of the Tanzania Forest Services (TFS), said that the move will boost the country’s tourism sector, and open up more unexplored investment opportunities, which in turn will also scale up conservation activities.
He said: “We have a number of nature reserves, which have unique tourist destinations, but they’re yet to be explored and in this promotion campaign we want to increase their visibilities to domestic and foreign tourists.”
Citing examples, Silayo said that Amani Nature Reserve located in north-eastern Tanzania’s district of Muheza has a number of unique flora and fauna, which is fit for an eco-tourism site, but very few tourists are aware of those thrilling tourist destinations available in the nature reserves.
Tanzania has twelve nature forest reserves, which are state-owned and are managed by TFS.
“That’s why we want to promote all areas which are similar to Amani Nature Reserve,” the official said when he visited the Amani Nature Reserve.
According to Silayo, among the issues to be worked on include revamping road infrastructure getting into the reserves, as most of them are unfriendly to tourists as well as putting up accommodation facilities for visitors.
“As conservators, we believe that most of our forest nature reserves are rich in biodiversity, the situation that can lure as many visitors as possible. There are people who are interested in viewing different types of insects, birds and plant species. And there are those who would be interested to do researches in those reserves.” Silayo said.
Mwanaidi Kijazi, chief conservator of the Amani Forest Nature Reserve, said that during the 2017/2018 fiscal year, 26,301 U.S dollars was collected from 782 tourists who visited the nature reserve.