LAKE Zone based tours operators have been urged to be more proactive in promoting tourism in the area so as to record desirable economic impact as well as creating a vibrant tourism industry.
Speaking during the stakeholders’ meeting attended by about 40 companies here over the weekend , the Swahili International Tourism Expo (SITE) coordinator, Mr Philip Chitaunga, said that local companies have a major role to play to increase their economic contribution in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the subsector.
“Mwanza has a lot of tourism destinations that are not well promoted and in my view the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) need to be more proactive in making sure the tour attractions are known particularly domestic tourism to both local and foreign tourists and then increase the income substantially,” said Mr Chitaunga.
He said that Mwanza Tour operators in the Lake Zone in collaboration with TTB should work entirely in promoting domestic tourism in a bid to improve their economy, the local community and the nation at large.
According to him, Tour Operators in the Lake Zone should borrow a leaf from their counterparts in Northern Zone particularly Moshi and Arusha that are popular in attracting both domestic and foreign tourists contributing immensely to the national economy.
Another tour operator who attended the workshop, Mr Urio Michael, raised his concerns on the priorities set by TTB in promoting tourism suggesting for the body to approach more stakeholders in the campaign. He cited artists who through their forums can effectively take part in promoting cultural tourism an aspect still doing relatively little in the national tourism promotion strategies.
“This unique taste of Tanzanian culture can offer tourists a fresh glimpse into this beautiful land and earn good income to our local artistes,” he said. Tour operators’ needs to have outside networks so as to be effective and sustainably carry out tourism services and this can be done if people in the lake zone regions would actively invest in tourism subsector.
This include the investment in five star hotels, recreational places, execution hotel and bar boats, sliding beaches and like all these are in a move to attract tourists in the area to support the available tour attractions.
Closing the workshop, the Assistant Regional Administrative Secretary, responsible for Investments and Empowerment, Mr Johansen Bukwali, said that it was important for Lake Zone based tour operators to robustly join efforts in tourism promotion.
“You need to start changing mindsets towards participating in local tourism promotion and get ready to compete as well as participate in more tourism Expo like Swahili International Tourism Expo,” he said.
He underscored on the importance of the Lake Zone tour operators to take full advantage of improved infrastructures like Mwanza Airport which is poised to be main gateway for tourists heading to the neighbouring destinations like Serengeti National Park and others.
The Lake Zone is blessed with a number of tourists sites and attractions like in Mara region hosting hot water falls in Serengeti, Mwalimu Nyerere museum in Butiama and many others. Other attractions include Mwanamalundi history, Bismark Rocks, Bujora Museum in Mwanza city, dancing stone and crocodile trees in Ukara, Ukerewe District being among tour attractions that need to be promoted.