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Tanzania: World Bank Project a Big Boost for Tourism
The World Bank's $150 million Resilient Natural Resources for Tourism Growth (Regrow) project to upgrade and promote the Southern Circuit is a major economic boost for a region where the potential of tourism has not yet been fully tapped.
On Monday, Vice President Samia Suluhu Hassan officially launched the project that could turn around, not just the tourism sector, but also provide new opportunities for general regional growth.
Granted, Tanzania's tourism has over the years flourished mostly on the Arusha-based Northern Circuit, which - for example - largely helped to contribute $2.1 billion tourism earnings from over 1.28 million tourist arrivals in year-2016.
Nevertheless, for many years now, there has been concerns that the country could be sitting on huge potential for more earnings from tourism in the southern highlands - home to several national parks (Katavi, Kitulo, Mahale, Udzungwa Mountains, Mikumi and Ruaha); game reserves (with Selous being the largest), two rift valley lakes (Nyasa and Tanganyika) and areas of cultural interest.
There is no doubt that with adequate financing to boost infrastructure and conduct an aggressive marketing campaign over the next six years and beyond, these natural assets of the Southern Circuit can increase the number of tourists arriving to the country. This in turn will increase the economic benefits and promote wildlife conservation.