Tanzania: Tourism picks up as heritage attractions attract visitors

The government’s efforts to develop the tourism sector by marketing non-wildlife attractions has started to bear fruit and recorded some 120 tourists visiting heritage sites in Tanzania’s southern Kilwa district on Sunday.

Located in the Lindi region, the place is rich in marvelous historical sites, from the era of slave trade and colonialism.

Despite the historical riches, these heritage sites in many parts of the country attracted few tourists compared to wildlife tourism.

Heritage tourism includes places, artifacts and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past as well as cultural, historical and natural resources.

Statistics indicate that heritage tourism has lagged behind wildlife tourism, with over 80% of tourists coming for wildlife tourism.

The arrival of 120 tourists for the heritage sites of the ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara is the result of the efforts of the Tanzania Wildlife Authority (TAWA), which promoted them.

Tourists from different countries including the US, Japan, UK, Germany and Switzerland traveled to Kilwa Kisiwani on a modern ship called Le Bellot and toured the sites on Sunday.

They were received by Kilwa District Commissioner Zainabu Kawawa who was accompanied by TAWA officials including Senior Tourism Officer Steven Madenge.

The District Commissioner said the ruins of Kilwa, managed by TAWA, continued to uplift the district and the nation, especially seeing a ship dock there with tourists.

“Tourists who arrived were amazed to see beautiful heritage attractions in this area,” DC said.

Ms. Zainabu explained that the district also expects to receive another ship of 150 tourists before the end of this month.

She attributed the number of tourists visiting historic sites in Kilwa to President Samia Suluhu Hassan’s efforts to market the national tourist attractions through the film Tanzania Royal Tour which she recorded recently.

According to the captain of the Le Bellot ship, Maxime Benoit, the tourists visited various tourist attractions around the world, including Tanzania, where they chose Kilwa Kisiwani, Unguja and Pemba. In the Third Five-Year National Development Plan (FYDP III), the government aims to increase the annual growth rate of tourism to 2% from the current 1.5%, and the number of tourists from the current 1,527,230 to 5,000,000 by 2025/26.

The objective is also to increase the average number of overnight stays per tourist from 13 to 14, while increasing revenues to US$6 billion (about 13.9tri/-) from US$2.6 billion (about 6tri/).

Among the interventions of the strategy are the promotion of the development and diversification of new tourist products for sustainable growth as well as the promotion of the southern tourist circuit as an alternative to other circuits.

“Our tourism has been focused on wild animals…this forces tourists visiting Tanzania to stay for a few days due to the lack of various tourist attractions, so if we have these kinds of cultural festivals, they will definitely stay longer. “, said the president. Samia said when she was in Mwanza to officiate the opening of the Cultural Festival held in Mwanza in September this year.

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