By Apolinari Tairo
Published December 24, 2010
With the growing number of tourists currently visiting Tanzania, there is a great demand for beds to cope with the visitors in northern, coastal, and southern tourist circuits.
Tanzania president Jakaya Kikwete says his country needs more hotels of high-class calibre to cater to the increasing number of tourists visiting the world-renowned wildlife parks of Serengeti, Ngorongoro Crater, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Indian Ocean beaches, the southern and western parts of Tanzania.
Kikwete says thousands of tourists visiting or transiting through Arusha on their way to and from the world renowned game parks and Mount Kilimanjaro need more tourist-class accommodations.
In his remarks to open the 178-room Mount Meru Hotel, which underwent renovation at the cost of US$24 million, President Kikwete said this leading hotel in northern Tanzania would add glory to the area.
The hotel, once owned by the government of Tanzania, was privatised to a local company five years ago. It is located in Arusha town, Tanzania’s tourist hub and a linking centre to other eastern and southern Africa safari destinations.
The president said with the opening of the National College of Tourism in 2011, Tanzania would manage to train hotel and tourism professionals to international service standards to work in hotels and the hospitality industry.
President Kikwete, however, says Tanzania has achieved a tourist growth rate of 12% for the last four years, making it one of the fastest-growing sectors, contributing 17.2% of Tanzania’s gross domestic product and 41.7% of foreign currency earnings in the last five years.
He says Tanzania earned US$4.988 billion from the tourism sector in the last four years.
“There are still great prospects for expansion and growth in this sector. There is a huge demand for more hotels, more trucks, more restaurants, more local and international flights, and more tour operators,” Kikwete told players in the tourist sector.
Tourism minister, Ezekiel Maige, says Tanzania needs more hotels to cope with the growing demands for tourist accommodation and recreational services of competitive standards, as the number of tourists visiting this African destination grows to touch a million mark by end of 2010.
Tanzania needs more hotels in new tourist sites, including cultural tourist spots in villages surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro, the Usambara mountains, Indian Ocean coastal beaches, and the southern Tanzania’s tourist circuit.
Right now, Maige says, Tanzania needs an additional 3,000 rooms in the short term to arrest the current situation.
An eTN article