Tanzania Continues to Woo Tourists As Covid-19 Bites

Arusha — Tourism and hospitality industry players have maintained that Tanzania destination remains open for business and continues to welcome tourists, taking precautions and measures put in place by the government, key players said in a statement yesterday.

Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (Tato) and Hotel Association of Tanzania (Hat) members have met recently to look at ways at which to work together with the government to ensure compliance of the safety directives issued by the Ministry of Health for the interests of the public and tourists at large. Tato and Hat joint statement comes after the media report of a potential 45-day no activity in the Tanzania tourism industry due to coronavirus outbreak.

"Tato and Hat would like to assure the holidaymakers that the Tanzania Government is taking all necessary measures to ensure their safety and that there will be minimal inconveniences for their travel," reads part of the statement signed by Tato chief executive officer, Mr Sirili Akko and Hat chief executive officer, Ms Nuralisa Karamagi.

On the 23rd of March, the government issued a travel advisory for tourists welcomed in the country, stating that all travellers whether foreigners or returning residents arriving from Covid-19 most affected countries will be subjected to mandatory isolation for 14 days at their own costs at designated facilities identified by the Government.

Passengers should fill in Health Surveillance Forms in the plane, or any other transports means and submit them to Port Health Authorities upon arrival.

All travellers arriving will be subjected to an intensive screening and where necessary Covid-19 rapid testing. Tanzania's tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the East African country with figures showing a continued growth on tourist arrivals.

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For instance, Tanzania's earnings from tourism jumped 7.13 percent in 2018, helped by an increase in arrivals from foreign visitors, according to the government. Tourism is the main source of hard currency in Tanzania, best known for its beaches, wildlife safaris and Mount Kilimanjaro.

Revenues from tourism fetched $2.43 billion for the year 2018, up from $2.19 billion in 2017.

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