Arusha — THIS year's massive influx of tourists to witness the annual calving of Sh1.5 million wildebeests is credited to "aggressive promotional efforts" by Tanzanian officials abroad.
"The entire world had always known about the Wildebeests Migration but the other, even more interesting process of the herbivores' synchronized calving was yet to be promoted and this is the product we started selling during recent travel, tourism and trade fares," explained Mr Paschal Shelutete, the Public Relations Manager with the Tanzania National Parks.
Nearly 17,000 tourists have been witnessing the wildebeests' calving season in Serengeti in February, the highest number of visitors to be recorded in a single month.But also Tanzanian envoys in Asian countries, who visited Serengeti two years ago and vowed to sell the country's second largest national park in their precinct has also helped to boost this oldest tourist destination in East Africa.
Accolades recently won by the Serengeti National Park have also helped to give the area more tourism mileage abroad and just four weeks ago Serengeti was chosen as the 2013 global winner of International Award in Tourism, Hotel and Catering Industry.The park won the award from the Selection Committee for the 38th International Award for Tourist, Hotel and Catering Industry which chose it above all other worldwide tourist destinations.
Again, two weeks ago, Serengeti became one of the "Seven New natural wonders" on the African continent, winning the outstanding 'seven features' along the other two Tanzanian features; Mount Kilimanjaro and Ngorongoro Crater.Serengeti National Park, said to have the highest concentration of wildlife in Africa, attracts between 350,000 and 400,000 tourists every year with 93 per cent of these being foreign visitors mostly from European countries and the United States.
Annual revenues of 45 billion/- on average are collected from Serengeti, placing it in the third slot after Mount Kilimanjaro (nearly 80 billion/-) and the Ngorongoro Crater which earns 55 billion/- per year.