Tourism sector’s innovation has all to tell sports fraternity
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SOUTH Korean Hallelujah FC players and officials admire as a traditional dancer with Wanne Star Group plays with a giant snake at the Dar es Salaam Port yesterday, on a tour of the team organised by the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB). The team consisting 50 players and officials is in a two-week tour of the country. (Photo courtesy of TTB)

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A FOOTBALL match at the peak of Kilimanjaro Mountain and Liverpool player Mamadou Sakho’s tour of Kilimanjaro have been among the notable sports news in recently.

Improved marketing system being applied by Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB) to advertise the country’s natural attractions has continued to hit success as far as tourism sector maintains its role as one of the biggest sources of foreign income.

It is evident that Kilimanjaro Mountain is in Tanzania and not in Kenya as it was previously thought after the board’s commendable efforts to inform the world through every source of information.

At the peak of the tourism season, sports and arts celebrities including English Premier League (EPL) stars, have flocked the country, they didn’t come as an accident, there was TTB hand behind it.

Everton is expected to land in the country this month for a friendly match against SportPesa Super Cup winners Gor Mahia of Kenya. They will face off at the National Stadium in Dar es Salaam on July 13th this year.

This tour follows the arrival of EPL icons including former Manchester United and Real Madrid super star David Beckham, Everton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, Tottenhamm Hotspur midfielders Victor Wanyama and Christian Eriksen and Liverpool star Mamadou Sakho who visited various tourist destinations.

Schneiderlin, the former Manchester United defensive midfielder who switched to EPL rivals Everton, was in the country with his newly married wife, Camille.

Asked if the expired partnership between TTB and Sunderland was a contributing factor for such achievements, the body’s principal public relations officer, Geoffrey Tengeneza said “the agreement of advising Tanzania tourism sector with the relegated Sunderland is among the factors.”

Tengeneza said, Sunderland players wore special t-shirts ahead of the home clash at Stadium of Light labeled “The land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and Serengeti”.

Tengeneza added that TTB were also in the agreement with six EPL clubs’ stadiums including Sunderland’s Stadium of Light and St James’ Park which belongs to newly promoted Newcastle to advertise the tourism attractions in Tanzania.

Apart from sports tourism, Tengeneza said, TTB posted tourism adverts on CNN and UK means of transport including taxis, busses, trains and at Heathrow airport. Adding a dimension to the success, South Korean football team, Halleluya are in the country bringing in over 50 sportsmen.

They will play Tanzanian champions Young Africans this Saturday after playing several friendly matches with Zanzibar top flight league teams. While in the country the players will also tour various sites in the country including Mikumi National Park.

The football match at the roof of Africa, as TTB official said, drew 60 women from 20 countries played football at Uhuru Peak of Kilimanjaro Mountain. According to TTB official the match was very successful as it helped much to promote the mountain and other tourist attractions.

Two months back a team of over 100 film actors and makers visited Zanzibar and Mainland national parks and took pictures. The enhanced tourism, Tanzania has signed special contracts with three consultant agencies from Europe and America to develop special marketing strategy for Germany, U.S.A and United Kingdom as part of initiatives to intensively penetrate into world tourist markets as well as stipulated in its five years International Marketing Strategy.

It’s a new marketing innovation that now shapes Tanzanian tourism, but contrary to the visionary TTB, sports fraternity is yet to wake up from a slumber and take a little attention of what TTB is doing.

Since firmly glued to amateurish culture very few Tanzanians take sports as the most valued sources of income today despite a knowledge on big pays of great personalities such as Christian Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Big companies have also benefited from these mega stars who climbed to their status after big efforts and commitments. From what TTB is achieving, it forces local sports fraternity that include players, clubs and sports governing bodies to adopt the new marketing system as sports now is a big industry whose major commodities are playing skills, managing efficiency and innovation.

Since sports can be watched on a variety of platforms, sports marketing can take many different forms. At the moment no big team has an advertising space inside the stadiums as there is no team which owns its own stadium at the moment.

Sales of clubs’ jerseys are perhaps the only serious marketing innovation, though only four teams; Azam, Simba, Young Africans and Mbeya City dominated the show.

The TTB marketing initiative will remain a big lesson especially to players, who must work hard to promote their talents overseas, clubs that seek global recognition by employing professionals and the governing bodies that administer sports.

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