US is Tanzania’s top source of tourists

The United States is Tanzania's leading source of international tourists.

Tanzania received a total of 107,361 tourists from North America (the US, Canada and Mexico) in 2017, with the US alone accounting for 81 per cent or 87,238 of the total number, according to data compiled by the Natural Resources and Tourism ministry.

The UK, Germany, Italy and India completed the top five list, bringing to Tanzania 66,491, 58,370, 49,909 and 39,115 visitors respectively.

Israel, France, China, Netherlands and Canada came in sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth positions respectively.

The number of Chinese tourists who visited Tanzania dropped to 29,224 last year from 34,472 in 2016.

Plans are afoot for the national carrier, ATCL, to operate flights to China and India with its newly acquired Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. The flights are expected to boost the number of tourists from those countries visiting Tanzania.

ATCL managing director Ladislaus Matindi said at the Dar es Salaam International Trade Fair (DITF) last week that the company will deploy the plane on the Dar es Salaam-Kilimanjaro route as it finalises preparations to launch flights to India and China.

ATCL director of operations Richard Shaidi said domestic routes - to be undertaken for only one month - are meant to give pilots and cabin crew members enough time to get used to features of the aircraft before it goes on the much-awaited India and China routes.

Biggest spenders

Though India and China are on positions five and eight respectively in terms of the number of international visitors they bring to Tanzania, a survey by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) shows that Chinese visitors are the biggest spenders among foreign tourists coming to the East African nation.

NBS' 2016 International Visitors' Exit Survey shows that a Chinese tourist spent an average of $541 (about Sh1.2 million) per night in 2016.

Source: All Africa