Monday, 13 February 2012

Tanzania raises entry fees to historical sites

Tanzania has increased entry fees to its historical sites by 900%, a move investors fear could scare away tourists.  From February 1, tourists will pay $18 per person a day, up from $2.
“We have raised the entry fee in a bid to make the sub-sector contribute meaningfully,” said Donatius Kamamba, Director of Tanzania’s Antiquities department — the agency responsible for the historical sites.

However, the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (Tato) argues that the sudden increase in the fee rate – coming as it does in the middle of the tourism season – could hurt the sector’s revenue prospects.
“This is against good business practice, and could seriously damages the reputation of Tanzania tourism operators,” Tato chief executive secretary Mustapha Akuunay said.

With a growth rate of 12%for the past four years, tourism is one of the fastest-growing industries, contributing 17.2 per cent of the GDP and 41.7 % of the country’s foreign exchange inflows in the past five years. Available records show that Tanzania earned $4,987.5 million from the tourism sector in the past four years. The industry employs nearly 200,000 Tanzanians directly. Renowned for its relative calm in the region, the nation of about 40 million people aims to earn $1.5 billion annually by attracting 1 million tourists per annum from 2011.

 There are great prospects for expansion and growth in this sector. There is a huge demand for hotels, trucks, more restaurants, more local and international flights, and more tour operators. Tourists come to Tanzania to enjoy the beaches on its eastern coastline and the Zanzibar archipelago, its national parks such as the Selous in the southeast, the Serengeti in the north, and to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Prime historical sites include; Olduvai Gorge, Laetoli Footprint, Isimila Stone Age site, Engaruka, Kaole, Kunduchi , Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara Ruins.

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