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By Zephania Ubwani - The Citizen

Tourism stakeholders from across Africa are meeting here today to discuss recovery efforts from Covid-19.

Although the continent lost an estimated $ 83 billion in GDP contribution, signs of a quick recovery are clear.

Although the continent lost an estimated $ 83 billion in GDP contribution, signs of a quick recovery are clear.
“We are now getting more visitors”, affirmed the minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Pindi Chana yesterday.

She said most African countries lost between 50 to 80 percent of the arrivals after the outbreak of the pandemic.

“The impact of Covid-19 was severe. But this is not the case now. We are on the recovery path,” she pointed out.

Themed “Rebuilding Africa’s Tourism Resilience for Inclusive Socio-Economic Development,” the conference will explore ways to accelerate the recovery.

The gathering has been organized by the World Tourism Organization (WTO), a specialized agency of the United Nations.
Tourism ministers from all over Africa will be in attendance as will be other industry players from within and outside the continent.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan is expected to grace the opening of the three-day conference at Gran Melia Hotel in Arusha.
Dr.  Chana said she was delighted that Tanzania was hosting the meeting as one of the countries recovering fast as seen with the tourist arrivals.

“There is every sign that we will achieve our five million tourists target in 2025, generating $ 6billion”, she explained.

Tourist arrivals in Tanzania tumbled to 620,865 in 2020 from a record 1.5 million in 2019 after the outbreak of Covid-19.

They rose to 922,692 last year, thanks to easing of travel restrictions globally, specifically from tourism source countries.
The increasing numbers came handy with revenue generation; $1.3 billion last year, a rise of 80 percent compared to $714.5 million in 2020.

The recovery is glare as per the arrivals recorded this year, with signs that this year’s arrivals may reach pre-pandemic levels.
Between January and July this year, Tanzania registered 742,133 tourists, representing a 62.7 per cent rise from the corresponding period last year.

Of those who landed from abroad between January and May, the US had the largest share of tourist arrivals (51,301) travelers.
They are followed by 47,403 from France Germany (30,817), Poland (29,004) and 28,275 from the United Kingdom (UK).
Arrivals for July alone were similarly led by the US (17,135), France (12,634), Britain (8,586), Germany (8,015) and the Netherlands (5,102).

A recent survey by the ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism indicated that 59 percent of the visitors came for holiday and leisure.

The survey was carried out at the three leading international airports in the country and five border posts for over land transport.
These are the Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) in Dar es Salaam, Abeid Amani Karume International Airport and the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA).

The border posts are Namanga, the most active in tourist traffic, Tunduma, Manyovu (between Tanzania and Burundi), Horohoro and Mutukula.

According to the minister, Tanzania will benefit immensely from the conference in that it will include an investment forum.
The high profile meeting will also see the launching of investment guidelines and a marketing symposium.


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