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Tourism
Major study on impact of tourism..
Posted: Thursday November 27, 2008 5:03 AM BT
By Zuwena Shame
A team of local experts will carry out a major study later this year to explore the extent to which the tourism sector is directly contributing to the wellbeing of the citizens. Proposed research is the first of its kind since introduction of liberalisation policies in Tanzania early 1980s, ultimately ushering in huge foreign direct investments (FDIs) into the sector.
To-date, the sector has been contributing about 17.2 percent of country's gross domestic product (GDP) and directly employs about 300,000 people, with an average growth rate of 20 percent.

However, no one has delved into understanding whether these rosy figures have truly resulted into boosting local enterprises and consolidating market linkages that are crucial for economic growth and reduction of poverty in this country.

Principal researcher Professor Lettice Rutashobya from the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM), faculty of commerce and management told reporters on Monday that actual work will start on January next year and would focus on chain value analysis as chief methodology.

By the end of this year, she said, tourism is expected to generate over USD1.1 billion, accounting for about 33 percent of total exports of goods and services.

The major objective of the research project is to investigate how tourism is sustainably contributing to the local economy and development through the value chain linkages.

Research team would be guided by the concept of sustainable pro-poor tourism, looking at how local enterprises has been stimulated through tourism and its potential to actively engage poor people involved in agriculture, fishing, livestock, poultry, handicraft, transport, accommodation, labour supply and cultural activities.

"We have many tourists hotels and attractions in the country especially in Zanzibar but are we sure that local people are really benefiting when some tourists don't consume some of our products" she questioned.

Before commencement of the research undertaking, the team would first organise a one day workshop for tourism stakeholders in Dar es Salaam where some salient issues would be thrashed out.

Participants would share research issues with the tourism stake holders and it's expected that the research would eventually come out with recommendations on how Tanzania could practice sustainable pro-poor tourism and should lead to reforms and improve decision making on implementation of pro-poor tourism policy.

She added that the research will also involve some field work in Botswana because for long it has been an active player in tourism sector, with lots of success stories.
"Given the fact that active participation in this sector is recent phenomenon in our country, a better understanding of the situation including good practices for linkages between the local business community and tourism establishments can be established if cross- country comparisons are also made between the two countries" she said.

This project has won competitive funding from the Investing Climate and Business Environment Research Fund (ICBE-RF) administered by TRUST AFRICA, Senegal and funded by the Canadian International Development Research Center (IDRC) and the Foundation for Sustainable Enterprise and Development (FSED).The research award is among only three large grants for the whole Africa.


 
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