Arusha — The Natural Resources and Tourism minister, Dr Hamis Kigwangalla, said tour operators and tour guides will not lose their jobs following introduction of cable car services in climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.
Dr Kigwangalla said the service was not intended to replace their jobs, noting that it was a new product targeting people with special needs including those with disabilities.
He was speaking yesterday during a ceremony to award best tourist operators, saying the service intended to enable those with special needs reach the mountain's summit.
"No job will be cut or destruction of ecology. The current procedures of climbing the mountain on foot will not be disrupted by the service," he said, noting that all stakeholders will be involved before commencement of the service.
Speaking during the event, chairman of Best Tourist Operators A Awards, Mr Christopher Nzela, told the minister that comprehensive clarification was required as the matter has caused panic among stakeholders.
"Stakeholders are of the view that the service will replace their jobs, therefore on top clarifications, they need to be involved," he said.
The Tanzania Porters Organisation (TPO) secretary general, Mr Loshiye Mollel, said the project threatened to cut 10,000 jobs for porters.
"Tanzania has over 20,000 porters depending on the job. An average seven days is spent for tourists to climb the mountain on foot. However, the service will not cut jobs, hence affecting them financially," he said.
He said participation in the project was important, noting that revenues generated from tourism will be affected if care is not taken during implementation of the system.