A deliberate effort by Tanzania to increase the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country may greatly improve relations between China and Tanzania. Aside from trade relations with China, Tanzania seeks to reposition itself as a tourist destination of choice among Chinese.
The country’s minister for natural resources and tourism, Mohamed Mchengerwa, while speaking to 40 Chinese travel agents and journalists at the Arusha Airport, expressed curiosity before asking, “Why is it that only a few Chinese visit Tanzania annually, yet we have a long history of cordial relations?”
He then urged the Chinese tourists who were present to help bring more Chinese tourists to the country.
“Efforts must be made to tap into this huge market. We need visitors from China to boost our tourism sector,” he said.
Tanzania, a major tourist destination, though behind Morocco, Egypt, and South Africa, is set to take a huge fraction of the number as it prepares itself for competition.
The Tanzania Tourist Board, or TTB, is planning to welcome roughly 45,000 visitors by the end of 2023 and has changed its strategy to capitalize on the country’s long-standing diplomatic ties with China.
The minister wants a quick diversification of tourist attractions, such as wildlife safaris and undeveloped beaches, to accomplish this.
However, Tanzania’s intention to leverage its booming tourism sector in order to bring a wave of Chinese visitors to the nation wasn’t a total surprise.
The government has developed a plan to promote its tourist attractions to China and other growing countries in Asia over the course of the last several years. These initiatives include the launch of direct flights to China and vigorous marketing activities organized by the Tanzanian embassy in Beijing and other partners.
The target of five million visitors annually would generate $6 billion, according to the Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry’s Third National Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III), which spans the years 2021 to 2026.