TANZANIA Broadcasting Corporation (TBC)'s new tourism channel, to be known as Tanzania Safari Channel, is set to be launched mid next month.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Adolf Mkenda, told reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday that preparations for the launch of the new channel were at an advanced stage and it would be launched on the 15th of December as planned.
"Based on where we have reached in the preparation, we can launch the new tourism channel mid December," he said after a meeting of Permanent Secretaries from ministries and heads of institutions directly involved in the preparations of the new channel.
TBC is preparing to launch the new tourism channel under the support of Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA), Tanzania National Parks Authority (TANAPA) and Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) to boost tourism.
This followed President John Magufuli's directive when he visited TBC last year for the national broadcaster to introduce a tourism channel.
Prof Mkenda said the new channel will run for 24 hours a day and would broadcast wildlife, historical sites and ruins, cultural tourism, marine parks and beaches.
"The new channel will not focus on wildlife only, but also archaeological sites and ruins, cultural activities, things like waterfalls, marine parks, beaches, etc," he said.
He said TBC would work with an American digital cable and satellite television network for wildlife, National Geographic channel for content development and capacity building for the TBC crew, who will be preparing programmes for the new channel.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Sports, Suzan Mlawi said they were pleased with the on-going preparations for launching the new channel and were convinced it will be ready for launching by mid-next month.
Zanzibar's Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Information, Tourism and Archives, Dr Saleh Yusuph Mnemo said they were pleased to be involved in the preparations of the new tourism channel as promotion of tourism in Tanzania extends to the islands of Unguja and Pemba.
"We in Zanzibar are main stakeholders in the promotion of tourism. We see this new channel will be important in both Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. We will cooperate as the ministry in all activities pertaining to this initiative," he said.
TBC Director General, Dr Ayub Rioba said they were currently installing new digital television broadcasting equipment that will take the national broadcaster a notch higher than other television stations.
"We are currently installing new big digital television broadcasting equipment which will support other channels and which will also be used for the tourism channel. The new equipment will make us the best in Tanzania in terms of broadcasting and quality of programmes," he said.
He added that there would be special focus on cultural tourism in the content of programmes for the new channel to tap into Tanzania's richly endowed cultural heritage.
"Tanzania is extremely rich in age-old cultures and traditions. That has not been focused on in tourism promotion. We will focus on that area," he said.