Tanzania has recognized the private sector’s role in tourism development from scratch a few years back to a multi-billion-dollar industry.
Permanent Secretary for Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof. Adolf Mkenda, said without tour operators, the government couldn’t have been able to nurture tourism into a leading industry in terms of foreign currency earnings.
Indeed, tourism is Tanzania’s largest foreign exchange earner, contributing an average of $2.5 billion annually, which is equivalent to 25 per cent of all exchange earnings, the government data indicates.
Tourism also contributes to more than 17.5 per cent of the national gross domestic product (GDP), creating more than 1.5 million jobs.
“We appreciate the role the tour operators play in propelling tourism industry growth. Keep it up, and we in the government will play our facilitative role,” Prof. Mkenda said during the 2019 Dinner Gala organized jointly by the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and National Microfinance Bank (NMB) Plc.
Truly, tourism is characterized as being a sector that stands out as one of the business activities with the greatest potential for expansion, as well as an engine for economic growth in Tanzania.
In such a competitive sector as tourism, the soft-spoken Prof. Mkenda said companies should develop synergies and achieve a competitive advantage.
In this context, public-private partnerships play an important role in tourism development.
For many, this year’s dinner was memorable for many reasons. Among the extraordinary events that will go down into history was when the TATO Chairman, Willy Chambulo, successfully managed to reconcile the 2 rival members, namely Hanspaul and RSA during the occasion.
The two are the manufacturers of tourist vehicles, specifically dealing with the bodies’ conversion, famously as “warbus.”
It came as a surprise when Chambulo took a bold and wise decision to call upon members for unity and love among themselves owing to the fact that there are still many fishes in the sea of business, hence no need to fight against each other.
Another remarkable episode was when the TATO founding Chairman, Merwyn Nunes, advocated for the “one window for government payment to enhance compliance” in his vote of thanks.
Prof. Mkenda, on the other hand, reassured the industry players of the government’s commitments and called upon the tour operators to invest in newly-established national park tours.
He was clearly impressed, commending TATO and NMB for organizing such a useful event, which brought industry players together.
NMB’s Chief Retail Banker, Filbert Mponzi, informed the industry players that his financial institution has rolled out tour vehicle loans in its latest efforts to support the tourism industry and TATO members in particular.
For his part, TATO CEO, Sirili Akko, said the private sector’s success story proves Henry Ford’s passage: “Coming together is the beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is a success.”