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Tourism
More tourists to visit Mafia
Posted: Sunday November 30, 2008 2:04 AM BT
By Jiang Alipo in Mafia
Tourism industry in Mafia Island is expected to rise in the near future after the rehabilitation of the island's main airport, the entry point of tourists to the island. The 1,680-metre long, and 30-metre wide airport's rehabilitation involved the complete rehabilitation of the runway and construction of temporary taxiway, apron and terminal building which can now accommodate aircrafts carrying up to 13 passengers.
Speaking here on Wednesday, the Deputy Minister for Infrastructure Development, Mr. Hezekiah Chibulunje, challenged the islanders to improve and develop tourist attractions in Mafia.

"The district administration should look for ways to attract the private sector to invest in tourism, such as modern hotels and encourage the local people to create tour guide groups" said Mr. Chibulunje.

The Tanzania Airports Authority Director General, Mr. Prosper Tesha, told the minister that an aircraft of 22 tonnes take-off weight could now operate safely at the airport throughout the year, unlike in the past where it was not safe to do so during rain season.

The rehabilitations, which began in June 21 2007, was done by a local contractor called Shapriya Co. Ltd. under supervision of consulting engineers, Gauf Ingenieure & Co., cost a total of 4.1bn/-, which was provided by the government.

Speaking earlier, the consulting engineers' Resident Director, Mr. Yusuph Yusuph, recommended construction of the wearing course in order to protect the finished runway against abrasion by wind and aircraft.

The TAA director general said that the government has a long-term plan to further upgrade the airport including rehabilitation of the running strip to tarmac level, which will enable it to accommodate even bigger planes.'

"The total project will .cost 19.5 million USD and is expected to begin the next year. It will accommodate 70-pas-senger planes like ATR 72," explained Mr. Tesha.


 
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