TOURISM industry has been going through a difficult time in the wake of Covid-19 lockdown rules and restrictions.
However, Tanzania's recent decision to open up her skies and tourist destinations has offered some light at the end of the tunnel.
The tourism season kicked off with the first passenger flight, packed with tourists arriving in the country on Monday, this week.
Amid recent despair that has gripped the tourism sector, there are renewed hopes that the industry is set to regain its vibrancy as things get back to normalcy.
However, we should still expect comparatively low periods of international arrivals in the coming few months as many governments are yet to follow Tanzania lead and ease travel restrictions.
That said, increased domestic tourism activities can play a crucial role in our government's commendable measures to cushion this key economic sector.
There is, thus, a dire need to consolidate domestic tourism in order to spur revenue at this period when lockdowns and travel restrictions in many countries keep affecting international tourism.
Unarguably, foreign markets remain key in boosting the tourism sector, but the Coronavirus has taught us that Tanzanians need to come together and promote domestic tourism.
Over the past few years, the government, through relevant tourism authorities, has made efforts to improve domestic tourism through a number of measures, including favorable packages that are affordable for the locals.
But many locals are still unaware of the importance of domestic tourism and due to among other reasons lack or limited information on tourism activities in the country.
By widening mass education on the importance of wildlife resources and tourism, huge benefits could well be realized within the tourism industry.
The Ministry of Tourism and Natural Resources and other responsible organs must continue to enlighten and educate locals on the importance of tourism, in order to ensure we have an improved market for domestic tourism in the country.
Enhanced mass education couples with provision of discounted and affordable rates for resident tourists by tourist establishments could considerably encourage locals to travel to tourist sites and prop up the sector, which is one of the key drivers of the country's economy.