- Tanzania is doing all it takes to lure investors to tap the country's accelerating growth. The Tanzanian Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Jumanne Magembe, has asked potential investors from the Gulf region, in particular Qatar, to get their share of Tanzania's emerging tourism sector.
Tanzania is among the most peaceful and stable countries in Africa. It will therefore be easy to sell the country abroad, the government holds. "Tanzania has never undergone political unrest. One can easily walk on the country's streets at night without fear," Minister Magembe said.
Qatar Airways launched its inaugural flight to the Tanzanian capital Dar-es-Salaam on 9 January, adding to the many direct overseas connections to Tanzania.
"Tanzania has potential investment opportunities in sectors like tourism and hospitality," Minister Magembe told the press. "We are revamping the hotels that we have, but there is a high demand for more. Investors from the Gulf region, Qatar in particular, are welcome to tap such opportunities," he added.
Tanzanian officials hope that the development would boost relations between the two countries as well as add colour and flavour to the Tanzanian tourism industry.
"I hope that Qatar Airways would bring in visitors, including Gulf nationals as well as expatriates, to our country," he said, describing Tanzania as a safe and stable country that has unrivalled tourism attractions, including the Serengeti park, which is among the new list of the world's seven wonders.
Tanzania boasts of having parks endowed with a variety of flora and fauna, which need to be rediscovered. In addition, the oldest skull of man was discovered in the country.
Annually, over 700, 000 tourists choose Tanzania as their holiday destination but tourism officials have now embarked on efforts geared towards increasing the figure. With unrivalled tourist attractions and fine weather, Minister Magembe believes that the country needs little adjustments to record two million tourists annually.
A large number of tourists that visit Tanzania come from Western Europe and 40 percent of them are British. The country also receives a growing number of tourists from Japan.
But the fears are whether the country's current infrastructure is capable of accommodating high number of tourists.
"Our government has adopted a multi-pronged plan to promote tourism facilities in the country," the Minister said, adding that the government is building a new international airport, roads, improve the telecommunication services and transport industry.
The tourism sector was also promoted by Tanzanian President, Jakaya Kikwete today. On day two of his visit to the UK, President Kikwete met the British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The two leaders had opportunity to discuss their shared commitment to promoting peace, security and development.
Tanzania has the UK's largest bilateral development programme in Africa. The former colonial master has committed £105 million of general budget support for 2007/8 economic growth in Tanzania. Over the past 11 years, UK companies have invested about £230 million in Tanzania.
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