Tanzania plans to upgrade five wildlife reserves to national parks in order to raise the number of tourists visiting the country from 1.3 million per year to eight million by 2015 and revenue up from the current $2.2 billion.
Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Hamisi Kigwangala said the number of parks under the trusteeship and management of the Tanzania National Parks will rise to 21.
Tanzania has four tourist zones -- the Northern, Coastal, Southern and Western Circuits.
The wildlife reserves set for development are Kibisi, Biharamulo, Burigi, Ibanda and Rumanyika, part of the Western Tourist Circuit near the shores of Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria.
"We are targeting the parks outside the Northern Tourist Corridor," Dr Kigwangala said.
In its drive to attract three million tourists over the next two years, the country is focusing on new emerging market sources in Southeast Asia, the Pacific Rim and South America.
Tanzania Tourist Board managing director Devota Mdachi told The EastAfrican that they are looking at China, India, Russia, Turkey, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates.
She said the board is implementing the International Tourism Marketing Strategy, a document that was compiled and launched five years ago, to market tourism at a global level through public and private partnership initiatives.
Officials from the Tanzania Tourist Board said plans to develop tourism have been directed to the Southern Circuit with the support of the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme.
Last year, the World Bank approved Tsh340.5 billion ($150 million) for tourism development in southern Tanzania. The Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth project will run for six years.