Sunday, July 13, 2014 

Tanzania aims for Chinese influx

SNAPSHOTS: Tanzanian tourism officials would like to cash in on the increasing numbers of Chinese going abroad for their holidays.

MOSHI, Tanzania – Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) recently met with tour operators to come up with a marketing strategy to increase tourists’ numbers, including the Chinese.

The International Marketing Strategy which aims to cover a five-year period, from 2013, was jointly collaborated between the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) and Tanzania Confederation of Tourism (TCT), and it focuses solely on international tourism.

The main emphasis of the present campaign is to develop marketing promotions to reach out to the new emerging markets such as: China, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and the Gulf countries, according to the details of the strategy. The tourism industry in Tanzania is already smarting from evenly numbers, in the past two years, having received 1.135,884 million visitors last year, compared to 1,077058 million in 2012.

Besides, the strategy highlights a need to develop a distinctive and competitive positioning of the destination-Tanzania and use it consistently and consequently in all communications, to tell the world about the uniqueness of the country.

“Tanzania is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, inhabited by friendly and warm-hearted people. It offers the experienced traveller the unforgettable beauty of nature, wildlife and beaches – away from the crowds, back to the essence. The spirit of Africa, simple and inspiring. Unforgettable Tanzania”, reads part of the communication aspect.

The meeting was attended by 56 members of the Kilimanjaro Association of Tour Operators (KIATO) and a high-level of TTB executives. The TTB marketing manager, Geoffrey Meena says that their campaigns have already covered Arusha, Iringa, Mwanza, Ngorongoro and Kilimanjaro.

Meena was in the company of Mr. Philp Chitaunga, tourism services manager, Willy Lyimo, branch manager, Arusha, Ms. Dorothy Massawe, principal tourism officer northern zone as well as Elirehema Maturo, the coordinator for the cultural tourism program.

Meena maintained that the move is meant to encourage tour operators to uptake their marketing promotions in line with the international strategy which has the UK, US, Germany and Italy as primary source countries, and  France, Netherlands, Canada, Australia and Spain, as secondary source countries.

Tour operators, during such campaigns, are being presented with the international marketing strategy guidelines in simultaneous critical facts covering a wide range of marketing development and target groups. The campaign will cover the Tanga stakeholders in the next meeting expected within a month.

The sensitization campaign in Moshi was also used to enlighten the tour operators about the Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE) to link their businesses with the outside world that would later lead to market Tanzania as a tourist destination.

The SITE is scheduled to be held in Dar es Salaam from October 1 to 4, this year. According to Chitaunga, records available at the close of the month of June 2014 indicated that nearly half of the hall earmarked for the exhibition at Mlimani city is already booked.

Tourism boards from across Africa are among the exhibitors at the first Tanzanian international travel market to be held outside Arusha, the safari capital of Tanzania. “Tourism boards from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Benin, India as well as the Retosa bloc has already booked space”, said Chitaunga.

TTB officials say that the SITE will serve as the best link between local and international business firms and create a unique platform to promote the country’s tourism overseas.

The SITE focuses on the inbound and outbound travel to Africa while taking both the travel and trade exhibitions with a conferencing element that will focus on tourism, sustainability, conservation and other related issues.

“I urge all tourism enterprises in the country to use this opportunity and link their tourism businesses with the outside world, Chitaunga said, adding that this will increase the market share for their products and services”

“All we want is to diversify and inclusiveness as we promote business tourists and also tourists for leisure. We consider our African peers as potential tourists and this is the time to meet and forge links,” he told the East African Business Week in an exclusive interview.

By Elisha Mayallah, Sunday, July 13th, 2014