The government is set to conduct inspections at all tourist hotels in the country to establish if services offered meet standards, threatening to take action against those operating contrary to their licences.
The Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ramo Makani, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that there is a tendency for the hotel owners to operate contrary to their permits. He said a number of them offer poor services contrary to what is stated in their licences - that they offer high class services.
"We will start inspecting all tourist hotels to see if they meet standards of providing services according to terms and conditions agreed by the ministry. The exercise will be done after every six months," he stated.
Mr Makani also disclosed that poor customer service rendered by most tourist hotels was among the reasons discouraging visitors from coming to Tanzania. He said to improve customer care services; the government is planning before the end of this year to provide short courses in customer care services to hotel staff through the state colleges of tourism.
The deputy minister urged hotel owners to allow their workers to get that training to improve national income through tourism.
Mr Makani further said his ministry was mapping out plans to improve and encourage domestic tourism. He noted that Tanzanians had no culture of visiting their own attractions; hence the ministry was set to start promoting domestic tourism, insisting that the move will greatly improve the sector.
The deputy minister said the government believed that if properly managed, tourism could contribute to the national income unlike now when its contribution stands at 17 per cent only.
According to him, tourism is the only sector that has less competition internationally compared to other sectors as Tanzania remains one of the countries with unique attractions in the world.
He said in a move to improve and promote domestic tourism, the government is planning to establish a national tourism day next year to help Tanzanians to raise their awareness on tourism activities.
Mr Makani observed that the country has many tourism attractions but have not been adequately promoted due to several challenges, including poor infrastructures. The government will improve infrastructures in tourism centres and other attractions to increase national income.
"Plans are underway to improve domestic tourism and identify other tourism activities, including beach and marine tourism, to attract and increase the number of foreign and domestic tourists," the deputy minister said.