Thursday, July 3, 2008

India welcomes first-ever Tanzanian tourism delegates

Jun 26, 08 | 9:50 am

By Anil Mathur | MUMBAI, India (eTN) - Tanzania, the East African country of 36 million people, bordering the Indian Ocean, Kenya, Uganda, Congo and Zambia, is the latest nation to seek a part of the growing Indian outbound traffic.

As part of this effort, a high-level trade and government delegation was on a tour of Delhi and Mumbai, the first time ever, to see how the figures can rise from the present 15,000 to at least 45,000 or so in the next two years. The country of 1.2 billion sends about nine million outbound tourists ever year, and Tanzania wants a slice of this.

The team was led by the Tourism and Natural Resources Minister Shamsa Selengia Mwangunga and included leading agents like Mustaqali Y Abdallah, managing director, of Bobby Tours and Safaris who is himself of Indian origin (hailing from Gujarat).

Abdallah said he handles some 2000 tourists a year and hopes to increase the present figure of about 200 more from India. He has kept up his Indian links and connections, coming to the country often, and speaking the Gujarati language at home.

Tanzania, known for Mount Kilimanjaro and Zanzibar, attracts about 750,000 tourists from all over the world and the target is to reach a million arrivals in two years. The country is served by 11 international airlines, but Minister Mwangunga admitted that there was need for direct links and that efforts were being exerted for this purpose.

US, Canada and Europe are the major markets but Japan, China and Korea are growing, said Tanzania National Parks director general Gerald Bigurule, director general.

A Memorandum of Understanding between India and Tanzania is being drafted in an effort for the two countries to strenghten ties through tourism development.

The Tanzania National Parks director general said they were very serious to have a sustained presence in India and the trip was “will be only the start, and not the end.”

Joint promotions and packages with economic grouping in Africa are also being done to promote Tanzania, which is being marketed as a wildlife, beach, culture destination.


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