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Tourism
Ideas afoot on diversifying tourism products
Posted: Saturday December 06, 2008 3:46 AM BT
By Perege Gumbo
As global tourism become more competitive by the day, ideas on how to diversify products and services to make Tanzania a much more attractive destination are not short of coming. Most latest novelty is a call to introduce interactive tourism, a unique brand that capitalises on the relationships between insects such as butterflies, surrounding plants and the animals.
Speaking during an interview on the sideline of a four day tourism exhibition organised by South Africa, retired vice president of Tanzania Chamber of Commerce Industries and Agriculture (TCCIA) Basil Saprapasen said time was ripe for Tanzania to do away with dependence on animal and terrain tourism by diversifying and developing eco-tourism, cultural tourism, and interactive tourism.

He therefore pleaded with the government to help Tanzania tourism promotion agencies, especially Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) to undertake strategic promotion of all potential tourism products so as to elevate Tanzania to a convenient competitive edge.

"Exclusive capitalisation on animal tourism will not be sustainable since increased competition means some lame duck countries could be squeezed out of business.

During the exhibition which took place in London and attended by more than one million people, a lot of people and experts were talking about to start capitalising on interactive tourism and even fishing tourism.

So called fishing tourism involves deployment of medium submarines which sail undersea while passengers are given the opportunity of viewing varieties of fish species.

It is possible, under government's support and inspiration how to diversify more aggressively into areas such as diving and coral viewing at sea beds, he said.

When diversification is coupled with increased exhibitions in markets where Tanzania already enjoys competitive advantage, incomes earned from the sector could more than double, according to Saprapasen.

Tanzania major tourism source markets include England, Germany, US, France and Scandinavian countries.

All these strategic efforts, he said, must involve home-based tour operators so that spending per single tourist here is augmented, thus contributing to the country`s efforts to fight poverty.

Tanzania's tourism industry has been growing quickly, earning the country US 700 million a year. Currently , Tanzania has targeted to attract more than one million tourists by 2010.

Already, tourism has become the leading foreign exchange earner for Tanzania as up to the year ending June it had earned USD1 billion while it alone employs an estimated 250,000 people.

 
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