Tourism Sector Grows in Tanzania Overtaking Gold

Tourism has emerged the top foreign exchange earner in Tanzania last year and basing on its great potential, the sector has much to be confident about in 2014.

The Central Bank of Tanzania said in its latest monthly economic reviews that tourism had maintained growth to become the leading earner of hard currency overtaking gold whose performance was undermined by low output and a decline in global price.

The value of gold exports declined following a fall in both export volume and unit price. The price of gold declined mainly on account of India’s action to restrict importation of gold in efforts to control its current account deficit.

Experts say the tourism sector holds great potential because of the government's resolve to diversify the source market to focus into Far East and ambitious strategies to improve transport infrastructure which include air transport, roads and railways.

Strong economic growth is also another factor that brightens the future of tourism in the country. Presently Tanzania is among a few countries in the sub-Saharan Africa with a fastest growing economy.

It has experienced strong growth rates of more than six per cent for almost a decade. The growth for 2013 was 7 per cent and it is projected it will increase to 7.2 per cent in 2014.

The potential for the sector also lies on business tourism which grows in bustling and beautiful settings due to increasing number of hotels that offer conference facilities of international standards.

The trends show Africa is most desired among the young travellers. According to the World Travel Trend Report of 2013/2014, young people around the world are travelling more, spending more and exploring new destinations.

Youth travel was long seen as a small part of the travel and tourism industry, characterised by cheap prices and low spending. However, the picture has changed in recent years, according to diverse studies. The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) estimates that youth travel generated US$ 182 billion in international tourism receipts in 2012, and represented more than 20 per cent of the more than one billion international arrivals.

Source: AllAfrica