TOURISM CONFEDERATION OF TANZANIA OFFERS COOPERATION
The Tanzanian tourism sector apex body TCT has offered government the cooperation of the private sector in the tourism industry during a recent function, when meeting the recently appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism and saying ‘kwaheri’ to their former long serving PS.
TCT incorporates the key sectoral associations like TATO, TASOTA, HAT and TAOA and also includes the Zanzibar Tourism Investors’ Association, providing the main private sector platform for dialogue and is the main private sector counterpart to the public sector. While traditionally in Tanzania after independence the public sector chose the tunes and the private sector was to dance to them, things in recent years have changed considerably, as more investments poured into the tourism industry, arrival numbers grew and earnings multiplied, lifting tourism to the top of the economic performance scale.
Wise words were left by the previous PS Dr. Ladislaus Komba to his successor Ms. Maimuna Tarishi when he reportedly said to her: ‘Try to seek advice from stakeholders. Although they won’t provide all the answers, but they stand a better position to give insight to the development of the sector’.
TCT Chairman Gaudence Temu in response had this to say: ‘“The existing Public Private Partnership has facilitated implementation of strategies to improve services within the industry.
We will give you every support needed for the sector to achieve successful growth and development while protecting Tanzania’s natural and cultural heritage. TCT will continue to advise the Government on tourism issues relating to fiscal, legislative, regulations regarding standards, environmental, infrastructure, taxation, institutional development as defined by the National Tourism Policy, and other legal instruments related to the tourism industry’.
It is yet to be established though how government will eventually react to the outspoken comments made by TATO, and those of other sectoral associations, recently in regard of the hugely controversial plans to build a highway across the main migration routes of the wildebeest and zebras in the Serengeti, plans which have been broadly condemned by tourism stakeholders, or other recent issues emerging in the Tanzanian media like the cancellation of the application to UNESCO for World Heritage Status for the Eastern Arc Mountains, the plans to convert Stiegler’s Gorge in the Selous into a hydro electric plant site, the increase in poaching, encroachment into protected areas and illegal logging, all of which are threatening the very foundation of wildlife and nature based tourism.
Stakeholders in regular contact with this correspondent were unusually reserved over these issues though one did concede that ‘it has to be discussed with government, we in tourism cannot just sit still and see all this happen. We must bring our experience and expertise on such matters to government’s attention. They need our advice because it seems they have not listened very well to others’.
Watch this space.