The Tanzania Tourist Board has hosted a gala travel industry reception in New York City as part of a
two week trade and investment mission led by H.E. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President
of the United Republic of Tanzania.The festive evening which took place at “24
Fifth”, attracted more than 250 tour operators, travel agents, Africa Travel
Association members and participants of the Trade & Investment Mission from
Tanzania, including representatives of Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and
Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA).
Special Guests from Tanzania were Ambassador Dr. Augustine Mahiga, Tanzania’s
Permanent Representative to the UN, Peter Mwenguo, Managing Director, TTB, Mr. Elvis
Musiba, Board Member, NCAA, Mr. Bernard Murunya, Tourism Manager, NCAA, Rtd. Col.
E.S. Balele, Chairman, Board of Trustees, TANAPA, Mr.Gerald Bigurube, Director
General, TANAPA, Mr. Joseph Kessy, Planning Manager, TANAPA.
Ambassador Mahiga, in his welcoming remarks said “Tanzania, the largest country in
East Africa, with its rich cultural heritage, history, world renowned wildlife and
natural wonders, archeological monuments, miles of beautiful white sand beaches
along the Indian Ocean coast, offers visitors a diverse array of attractions. But
just as important to the visitor, Tanzania, since its independence in 1961, has
enjoyed peace and stability in a democratic environment. “This in fact has been one
of the themes of H.E. President Kikwete’s mission to the US, to promote the
excellent environment that Tanzania offers for tourism as well as tourism
Tanzania’s most famous attractions include Mt. Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in
Africa; the Serengeti, home of the unparallel spectacle of the annual animal
migrations; the Selous, world’s largest Game Reserve; The Ngorongoro Crater, often
called the Eighth wonder of the World, and the Olduvai Gorge (cradle of mankind);
and the exotic spice islands of Zanzibar. With more than 25% of the country
protected, there are 14 National Parks including Saadani, a unique marine/bush park
along the Indian Ocean Coast, and 13 Game Reserves.
According to TTB Managing Director, Peter Mwenguo, the number of tourists visiting
Tanzania has been increasing steadily. Already in 2006, Tanzania arrivals worldwide
are expected to reach 700,000, representing an increase of approximately 12% over
the figures for 2005 (612,000). What is the special lure that Tanzania holds for
Americans? Mwenguo says that “it is the fact that more and more Americans are
seeking new places for Adventure Travel and to interact with the local people and
learn about their culture. Tanzania offers all this, in a warm, friendly, safe and
English speaking environment (English is the official language along with
Kiswahili).” He added that visitors could choose from a wide range of
accommodations, from camping to world class luxury.” A growing number of
transatlantic airlines offer better access from US gateways, KLM / Northwest,
British Airways, South African Airways, Emirates and Ethiopian Airlines. Mwenguo
noted that although Tanzania is often perceived as a slightly more expensive
destination, the country offers the best value for money and quality of services.
“We have been very careful to protect Tanzania from becoming a mass tourism
destination. Our low volume/ high yield policy has kept the crowds from the parks
and protected the quality of the visitors’ vacation experience.”
Mr. Elvis Musiba, Board Member, Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA),
closed the evening by thanking those travel agents and tour operators already
selling Tanzania for their continued support and encouraging travel agents not yet
familiar with the destination, to come and experience Tanzania for themselves.