IN a move to promote domestic tourism, a local company, Jovago has launched an online campaign dubbed ‘Tanzania Yetu’ to encourage local residents to visit attraction sites in the country.
Addressing members of the media in Dar es Salaam recently, the Public Relations Manager of Jovago, Ms Lilian Kisasa, said that the campaign was aimed at encouraging Tanzanians to share photos and videos of the attraction sites they have visited across the country using #Tanzaniayetu.
“Through various social media like face book and Instagram, people will be able to post photos and videos of the country’s attractions they have visited so as to encourage others,” said Ms Kisasa.
Based on Tourism Report of 2015, most tourists visiting the country are from Kenya, United Kingdom, United States of America, Germany, South Africa and France, which constitutes 60 per cent of foreign visitors and 40 per cent domestic.
“The campaign will require local people to share their experiences in the tourism sector so as to motivate those who have never done so to explore their own country and enjoy the beautiful attractive places they have never seen before,” she pointed out.
According to the Country Manager of Jovago Tanzania, Mr Andrea Guzzoni, Tanzania has a lot of potential that people could learn from and enjoy the beauties of the country. “We do appreciate foreign visitors into the country but local residents should take personal initiatives to promote their own tourism sector so as to boost the economy of the country,” noted Mr Guzzoni. On his part, The Director of Tourism and Marketing at TANAPA, Mr Ibrahimu Mussa, lauded the effort taken by Jovago in promoting the tourism industry in the country.
“Technological use of such nature in our country should be encouraged, taking into consideration the gradual use of smart phones,” said Mr Mussa. He said sharing videos and photos is an easy way of creating awareness, therefore most people in the process will be motivated to visit the sites.
He added that in the next financial year, the ministry intends to extend further their service by posting adverts of the country’s sites through the social media and currently the attractions possess social media pages such as face book and instagram. “Statistics shows our annual site visitations include approximately 950 tourists whereas domestic tourists comprise of 300-450 people,” added Mr Mussa.
He called upon Tanzanians to overcome the misconception that only rich people are the ones who can afford to visit the country’s attraction sites. “Anybody can visit our attractions regardless of being well off or not, because the entry fee is affordable, people can simply organise themselves as a group to cater for transport issues,” he said.
President Jacob Zuma unveiled the skeleton of what he described as an economic “turnaround plan” in a State of the Nation Address dominated by the current plight of the South African economy, which was unlikely to grow by more than 1% in 2016 and would not nearly approach the 5%-plus levels outlined in the National Development Plan.
The address – initially interrupted by opposition Members of Parliament, which eventually resulted in members from the Congress of the People and the Economic Freedom Fighters leaving the National Assembly chamber – laid particular emphasis on the need to reignite growth and cut waste.
Growth was held up to be at the heart of the country’s “radical economic transformation”, with the President arguing that faster growth was vital to creating jobs, ensuring business profitability and creating the basis for the tax revenues needed to increase the “social wage” of education, health and security. The absence of growth was placing downward pressure on tax revenues, while threatening South Africa’s investment grade credit rating. “Importantly, our country seems to be at risk of losing its investment grade status from ratings agencies. If that happens, it will become more expensive for us to borrow money from abroad to finance our programmes of building a better life for all – especially the poor.” Zuma said the turnaround plan, and avoiding a downgrade by the rating agencies, required government and its social partners in business and labour to forge a “common narrative” that was supportive of improving the investment climate and positioning South Africa as a “preferred investment destination”. “If there are any disagreements or problems between us, we should solve them before they escalate. This is necessary for the common good of our country.” Zuma announced the creation of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on investment promotion, which would seek to set up a “one-stop shop” to facilitate direct investment into the country. In addition, he said a draft migration policy would be placed before Cabinet this year, with a view to easing the regulations for the entry of skilled foreign workers into the country. The response plan required “doing things differently”, acting more decisively in cutting red tape and bringing policy certainty, with Zuma specifically urging Parliament to finalise its deliberations on the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act, which he sent back to lawmakers on Constitutionality concerns.
It would also require the mandates and governance at State-owned companies to be tightened and for those agencies not playing a developmental role to be “phased out”. No mention was made, however, of possible privatisation, a point picked up upon by the leader of the Democratic Alliance Mmusi Maimane, who said the President should have prioritised the sale of State companies and assets to help fund programmes, such as infrastructure, that could help stimulate growth. TWO CAPITALS UNAFFORDABLE? Belt tightening within government was raised in the address, with Zuma even calling on Parliament to urgently review the financial sustainability of having separate administrative and legislative capitals, in Pretoria and Cape Town, while announcing that government would be cutting back on overseas travel, conferences, entertainment and catering. Even on the contentious area of South Africa’s plan to build 9 600 MW of new nuclear capacity, which many feel to be unaffordable, Zuma injected a new tone of prudency, saying any procurement would only proceed at a scale and pace that the country could afford.
He did not turn his back on nuclear altogether, however, announcing that the market would be tested to “ascertain the true costs” of the programme. The importance of renewable energy, coal and gas in the future electricity mix was also emphasised, with the announcement that independent power producer procurement programmes would either continue or be initiated during the year. Grant Thornton director: infrastructure advisory Grant Penrose applauded the emphasis placed on nuclear affordability. “His admission to this massive cost and South Africa’s current state of the economy, is laudable. We hope this process will be open and transparent going forward,” Penrose said. However, Maimane said that the cuts outlined were insufficient and that Zuma should have rather announced a trimming of his Cabinet to 15 Ministries, rather than repeating a number of plans that had already been canvassed, including a consolidation of the two capitals.