Dar es Salaam — Despite the hard economic times that hit most of Europe last year, the number of tourist arrivals to Tanzania increased.
According to Bank of Tanzania (BoT)'s Monthly Economic Review for January 2013, receipts from the year ending December 2012 show travel and tourism industry increase to $2.70bn compared to $2.30bn recorded in 2011.
The country received about 1.2 million tourists with majority of them visiting the northern circuit that comprises of the "Seven Wonders of Africa."
Serengeti National Park was declared the best of the "Seven New Natural Wonders of Africa" as all the three major tourism attractions in Tanzania made it to the top seven.
The two that made it were Ngorongoro Crater and Mountain Kilimanjaro.
Announcing the new 'Seven Wonders' of nature last week, the President and Founder of the Texas (US)-based 'New Seven Wonders,' Dr Philip Imler said that though the seven wonders are not ranked in positions, Serengeti stood out due to its legendary, spellbinding largest migration of large mammals.
The Ngorongoro Crater, found within the Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority, and described as 'The Bowl' in which a variety of wildlife live,' was also voted among the Seven Wonders of Nature while Mount Kilimanjaro, which is Africa's highest mountain, became the third entry from the country.
In another development, the central bank said that services payment has also increased to $2.35bn, compared with $2.21bn recorded during the year ending December 2011.
It said that this development was on account of an increase in payments for transport services particularly sea freight and travel expenses. It added that in 2012, the value of export of goods and services was $8.68bn compared with $7.40bn recorded a year earlier.
"This development was driven by an increase in receipts from travel, traditional and non-traditional exports," it quoted.
According to BoT's monthly report, the performance was largely attributed to improvement in receipts from travel and transportation.
"The good performance in travel receipts is mostly associated with the continued increase in international arrivals, the report said, and it added, the number of tourist arrivals."