Bukoba — RESIDENTS in Kagera region have been challenged to utilise to the maximum the abundant tourism attractions available in the region to speed up development.
The call was made by the Managing Director of Kiroyera Tourism Company, Mr Willy Ruta, to mark the World Tourism Day. He noted that a total of 1,100 tourists were recorded by Kiroyera company, last year out of who 680 were foreigners while 420 others were locals including 380 students from various colleges.
He further revealed that between January to July, this year a total of 322 tourists were recorded in the region."Tourism industry is the future of the economy of Tanzania and therefore opportunities like this must be effectively used by tourism stakeholders in the region," he said.He noted that Kagera Region was endowed with abundant natural resources and tourist attractions including rivers, lakes, national forest reserves, wild life and fauna.
Among the tourist attractions include the famous 25,000 hectare Minziro National Forest Reserve, which crosses to neighbouring Uganda. Tourist attractions found at Minziro National Forest Reserve include a 47 feet rhino viper, estimated to be 209 old, bush vipers, giant buffaloes and over 600 species of butterflies.
Available investment opportunities include agriculture and livestock, trade and commerce, fishing, mining, wildlife and tourism. Others are hydro-power generation, infrastructure development, human resources development, industries, research and technology.Mr Ruta also noted that Kagera Region had potential to utilize the Kagera river for irrigation purposes.
"We need to make research to utilize the available resources including Kagera river waters, coffee including marketing prices," he said.