It came to light early this week that Tanzania has, once again, been rated as the best destination for tourists in Africa. This is delightful news, to say the very least.
The rating is a result of a research carried out by a Netherlands-based tourist website. The researchers collected reviews and star ratings online and saw Tanzania logging 188 reviews with 4.8 points out of a five-star rating, beating Botswana, Kenya and others.
Indeed, if all goes well, Tanzania is likely to take the top global ranking in the coming few years. It would be remiss not to point out here that last year Tanzania was voted the best African Safari Country.
In that foray Tanzania defeated eight fierce competitors for the title. These were Botswana, Kenya, Zambia, South Africa, Namibia, Uganda and Zimbabwe. It was determined that Tanzania’s tourism spots were simply unrivaled.
In that research enquiry more than 1,000 people from 53 countries wrote more than 2,300 messages to SafariBookings.coma of the Netherlands praising Tanzanian tourism spots. More than 44 per cent of Tanzanian land area is covered with game reserves and national parks.
There are 16 national parks, 29 game reserves, 40 controlled conservation areas and marine parks. Mount Kilimanjaro, the Roof of Africa, is also located in Tanzania.
At the moment Tanzania envisages creating a friendlier tourism climate that would see the number of arrivals climbing Mount Kilimanjaro from the current 800,000 to 1.6 million annually by the end of this year. This is encouraging news as the nation’s share of earnings from tourism is bleak.
This stark reality needs remedial action. It is unthinkable that a country that has 16 attractive wildlife sanctuaries should fail to shunt in millions of lovers of nature.
But while we praise the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism for its quest to double the number of tourist arrivals this year we tend to forget the annoying fact that the nation has too few tourist hotel beds and other facilities. And most of its feeder roads are impassable.
During peak tourism seasons, especially between June and November, hotels fill too full and the nation falls embarrassingly short of beds. Tanzania has about 15,000 beds in hotels against a requirement of 1.6 million by the end of this year.
The situation calls for a scramble to construct tourist hotels if the 2015 target is to be met comfortably. Kenya has more than 28,000 tourist beds on the Indian Ocean coastline alone.
The city of Nairobi has more than 15,000. This means that Kenya, which logs 1.5 million tourist arrivals every year, will keep sprinting ahead in the tourism industry if too little or nothing is done to sell Tanzania as a tourist destination.
Follow Alive2Green on Social Media