18 July 2018

Tanzania: Why Obama Visit to Tanzania Kept a Secret

Photo: https://twitter.com/Mercy_Simba/media
Former US President Barack Obama shakes hands with Tanzania Foreign Minister Augustine Mahiga at the Kilimanjaro International Airport on Sunday, July 15, 2018.

Dar es Salaam — The coming of prominent leaders like former US President Barrack Obama and the President of the Switzerland, Mr Alain Berset, is a blessing to Tanzania's tourism, the country's chief tourism promoter has said.

The Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) said yesterday that the coming of the two leaders had seen Tanzania shining prominently on the global tourism map, saying there was a need to publicise the trips further.

Mr Obama left Tanzania for Kenya on Sunday, July 15, after having spent several days in the Serengeti National Park. Mr Berset arrived in Tanzania on July 10, 2018 and is scheduled to leave after 15 days.

TTB managing director Devota Mdachi told journalists that in Dar es Salaam yesterday that world prominent people did not want their private visits to Tanzania's tourist attractions to be publicised and their requests were honoured by the government and the TTB.

"Tourists now know that Tanzania is not only safe, but that it has great tourist attractions, something they cannot find anywhere else on this planet," she said.

She was responding to a question by journalists who wanted to know why the arrival and the 8-day stay of President Obama in Serengeti National Park were kept a secret. "That was the family's request. We respect the wish of such personalities. We did not publicise the visit of the President of the Switzerland, Mr Alain Berset because that, too, was a private family visit to our attractions," she said.

The DG named other prominent world figures who had visited Tanzania's attractions as world-class footballer David Beckham, American film actor Will Smith and their families. "These personalities come here to rest and do not want their enjoyment and rest encroached upon --- and we ensure strictly that."

Ms Mdachi gave illustrative comparative figures to show the increasing number of tourist arrivals from the US and Switzerland.

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