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THE STATE OF TANZANIA TOURISM SECTOR DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC.

Tanzania is indeed well positioned to tap into the growing potential of the high-yield and ever-expanding tourism industry. The country is endowed with world-renowned biodiversity, culture and wildlife attractions. Our strategic location, economic stability and multi-cultural hospitality make the country a top-of-mind destination for business activities. In 2019, Tanzania received 1,527,230 million tourists and generated more than US$ 2.6 billion, which comprised more than 25% of the total exports’ earnings. The sector also supports nearly 1.6 million direct and indirect jobs.

TALKING NOTES BY HON. DR. HAMISI A. KIGWANGALLA, MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND TOURISM AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE TO INFORM THE MEMBERS OF THE PRESS ON THE STATE OF TANZANIA TOURISM SECTOR DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
DAR ES SALAAM - TANZANIA.
THURSDAY, 05TH OCTOBER, 2020
____________

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Almighty God for enabling us to be here today. Allow me also to thank you all for accepting our invitation to join us at this important event of updating you on the state of tourism sector in our country during this time of COVID 19 pandemic.

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tanzania is indeed well positioned to tap into the growing potential of the high-yield and ever-expanding tourism industry. The country is endowed with world-renowned biodiversity, culture and wildlife attractions. Our strategic location, economic stability and multi-cultural hospitality make the country a top-of-mind destination for business activities. In 2019, Tanzania received 1,527,230 million tourists and generated more than US$ 2.6 billion, which comprised more than 25% of the total exports’ earnings. The sector also supports nearly 1.6 million direct and indirect jobs.


Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You will recall that, in December 2019 the world experienced an unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, an infectious disease caused by Corona Virus. The Tourism industry in Tanzania was affected, since countries that bring the most tourists prevented their citizens from traveling abroad. While the world tourism was grounded to a halt amid discussions on possible measures for lifting restrictions; safety and hygiene remain vital in choosing a holiday destination for travellers.

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you may be aware, safeguarding people’s lives and health have been the top priority of our country. His Excellence Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania personally directed and deployed the fight, and put forward the general requirements of unwavering confidence, working together, scientific prevention and treatment, and precise policies. In fact, the United Republic of Tanzania adopted a series of unparalleled measures for prevention, control, and treatment, which effectively curbed the spread of the epidemic in the country.

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the attempt to rescue the tourism sector, which is among the hardest hit sectors of the economy, following the dramatic steps taken by countries to limit the spread of the disease, my Ministry in collaboration with stakeholders took rational measures to develop National Standard Operating Procedures for the Management of COVID-19 in the Tourism Business Operations (SOPs). The SOPs provide guidance to health and safety issues to be observed by all operators in the tourism supply chain in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their areas. In the implementation of SOPs, the following have been/are being done: -

i. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children put in place mechanisms to ensure that tourists who visit our country are free from COVID-19;
ii. We have encouraged tourism entities to ensure that they appoint and adequately train a COVID-19 Liaison Officer who is a point of contact with the Ministry of Health and that awareness to stakeholders on the implementation of SOPs is on-going;
iii. We have ensured that most visited tourist destinations have been equipped with emergency facilities such as designated health facilities at Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Tarangire National Parks and Ngorongoro Crater;
iv. We have encouraged all operators to ensure that all tour vehicles are sanitized between each transfer. Surfaces and objects such as car door handles, seats, binoculars or guide books used by guests/visitors during and after the tour are sanitized;
v. We have ensured that COVID-19 Liaison Officers in and around major tourist areas are trained on the measures to control/prevent the spread of COVID-19 to visitors and locals. These officers work closely with the Ministry of Health to keep track of new developments and guidance regarding the COVID-19 pandemic;
vi. In collaboration with other stakeholders, we have conducted training sessions to airport staff at Abeid Amani Karume Iinternational Airport (ZIA), Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) on measures to undertake during service provision to all arriving and departing passengers. Some of these training sessions were delivered by AMREF under the Germany Embassy sponsorship;
vii. We have on-going virtual meetings with tourism operators’ companies around the world in five strategic main zones including Asia and Australasia; Europe; Middle East; America and Africa
viii. We have conducted meetings with various foreign ambassadors who represent their countries in Tanzania to inform them on our readiness to receive tourists;
ix. We have launched tourism promotion campaigns to promote destination Tanzania known as #TanzaniaIsReady. This campaign is being done through social media, targerting both international and domestic markets; and
x. We have prepared a Comprehensive COVID-19 Recovery and Sustainability Plan for the Tourism Sector in Tanzania.

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In view of the efforts and the current COVID 19 situation in the country, Tanzania opened its sky and boarders to the world and welcomes all visitors to visit its attractions while adhering to our new normal to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

i. Currently, international airlines have started to resume flights into Tanzania. International airlines that have resumed their operations include; Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Royal Dutch (KLM), Swiss Air, Rwanda Air, Emirates Airline, Fly Dubai, Oman Air, and Kenya Airways;

ii. Destination Tanzania officially received the Safe Travel Stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council – WTTC on 11th August, 2020. This stamp is awarded to the countries that are adhering to the International and National Standard Operating Procedures and other health protocols in ensuring safety to tourists against COVID-19;

iii. Tanzania is experiencing gradual increase in the number of international tourists. Statistics show that, from June, 2020 the number of tourists has increased compared to the months of April and May, 2020. For example in July, 2020 Ngorongoro Conservation Area received 1,972 tourists which is an increment of 89.8 percent compared to 202 tourists who were received in April, 2020. On the other hand, Tanzania National Parks received 3,666 tourists which is an increment of 85.9 percent compared to 517 tourists who came in April, 2020.

Members of the Press,
I would like to assure tourists and the general public that, tourism business operations will continue in the country while making sure that the health of Tanzanians is a priority. On the other hand, tourists coming to the country will be COVID-19 free and that every effort will be made to keep them safe.
I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to the authorities of the countries which are our major tourists markets, to consider allowing their citizens to travel to the United Republic of Tanzania as they always have been doing. I want to assure them that Tanzania is safe, and it is open for yet another unforgettable safe Tanzanian hospitality.

Thank You all for your attention!
Karibu Tanzania!

 

TALKING NOTES BY HON. DR. HAMISI A. KIGWANGALLA, MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND TOURISM AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE TO INFORM THE MEMBERS OF THE PRESS ON THE STATE OF TANZANIA TOURISM SECTOR DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
DAR ES SALAAM - TANZANIA.
THURSDAY, 05TH OCTOBER, 2020
____________

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, allow me to take this opportunity to thank the Almighty God for enabling us to be here today. Allow me also to thank you all for accepting our invitation to join us at this important event of updating you on the state of tourism sector in our country during this time of COVID 19 pandemic.

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Tanzania is indeed well positioned to tap into the growing potential of the high-yield and ever-expanding tourism industry. The country is endowed with world-renowned biodiversity, culture and wildlife attractions. Our strategic location, economic stability and multi-cultural hospitality make the country a top-of-mind destination for business activities. In 2019, Tanzania received 1,527,230 million tourists and generated more than US$ 2.6 billion, which comprised  more than 25% of the total exports’ earnings. The sector also supports nearly 1.6 million direct and indirect jobs.


Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
You will recall that, in December 2019 the world experienced an unexpected outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, an infectious disease caused by Corona Virus. The Tourism industry in Tanzania was affected, since countries that bring the most tourists prevented their citizens from traveling abroad. While the world tourism was grounded to a halt amid discussions on possible measures for lifting restrictions; safety and hygiene remain vital in choosing a holiday destination for travellers.

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As you may be aware, safeguarding people's lives and health have been the top priority of our country. His Excellence Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania personally directed and deployed the fight, and put forward the general requirements of unwavering confidence, working together, scientific prevention and treatment, and precise policies. In fact, the United Republic of Tanzania adopted a series of unparalleled measures for prevention, control, and treatment, which effectively curbed the spread of the epidemic in the country.

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the attempt to rescue the tourism sector, which is among the hardest hit sectors of the economy, following the dramatic steps taken by countries to limit the spread of the disease, my Ministry in collaboration with stakeholders took rational measures to develop National Standard Operating Procedures for the Management of COVID-19 in the Tourism Business Operations (SOPs). The SOPs provide guidance to health and safety issues to be observed by all operators in the tourism supply chain in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their areas. In the implementation of SOPs, the following have been/are being done: -

i. In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children put in place mechanisms to ensure that tourists who visit our country are free from COVID-19;
ii. We have encouraged tourism entities to ensure that they appoint and adequately train a COVID-19 Liaison Officer who is a point of contact with the Ministry of Health and that awareness to stakeholders on the implementation of SOPs is on-going;
iii. We have ensured that most visited tourist destinations have been equipped with emergency facilities such as designated health facilities at Serengeti, Kilimanjaro and Tarangire National Parks and Ngorongoro Crater;
iv.  We have encouraged all operators to ensure that all tour vehicles are sanitized between each transfer. Surfaces and objects such as car door handles, seats, binoculars or guide books used by guests/visitors during and after the tour are sanitized;
v. We have ensured that COVID-19 Liaison Officers in and around major tourist areas are trained on the measures to control/prevent the spread of COVID-19 to visitors and locals. These officers work closely with the Ministry of Health to keep track of new developments and guidance regarding the COVID-19 pandemic;
vi. In collaboration with other stakeholders, we have conducted training sessions to airport staff at Abeid Amani Karume Iinternational Airport (ZIA), Julius Nyerere International Airport (JNIA) and Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) on measures to undertake during service provision to all arriving and departing passengers. Some of these training sessions were delivered by AMREF under the Germany Embassy sponsorship;
vii. We have on-going virtual meetings with tourism operators’ companies around the world in five strategic main zones including Asia and Australasia; Europe; Middle East; America and Africa
viii. We have conducted meetings with various foreign ambassadors who represent their countries in Tanzania to inform them on our readiness to receive tourists;
ix.  We have launched tourism promotion campaigns to promote destination Tanzania known as #TanzaniaIsReady. This campaign is being done through social media, targerting both international and domestic markets; and
x. We have prepared a Comprehensive COVID-19 Recovery and Sustainability Plan for the Tourism Sector in Tanzania.

 

Members of the Press,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
In view of the efforts and the current COVID 19 situation in the country, Tanzania opened its sky and boarders to the world and welcomes all visitors to visit its attractions while adhering to our new normal to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

i. Currently, international airlines have started to resume flights into Tanzania. International airlines that have resumed their operations include; Ethiopian Airlines, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Royal Dutch (KLM), Swiss Air, Rwanda Air, Emirates Airline, Fly Dubai, Oman Air, and Kenya Airways;

ii. Destination Tanzania officially received the Safe Travel Stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council – WTTC on 11th August, 2020. This stamp is awarded to the countries that are adhering to the International and National Standard Operating Procedures and other health protocols in ensuring safety to tourists against COVID-19;

iii. Tanzania is experiencing gradual increase in the number of international tourists. Statistics show that, from June, 2020 the number of tourists has increased compared to the months of April and May, 2020. For example in July, 2020 Ngorongoro Conservation Area received 1,972 tourists which is an increment of 89.8 percent compared to 202 tourists who were received in April, 2020. On the other hand, Tanzania National Parks received 3,666 tourists which is an increment of 85.9 percent compared to 517 tourists who came in April, 2020.

Members of the Press,
I would like to assure tourists and the general public that, tourism business operations will continue in the country while making sure that the health of Tanzanians is a priority. On the other hand, tourists coming to the country will be COVID-19 free and that every effort will be made to keep them safe.
I would also like to take this opportunity to appeal to the authorities of the countries which are our major tourists markets, to consider allowing their citizens to travel to the United Republic of Tanzania as they always have been doing. I want to assure them that Tanzania is safe, and it is open for yet another unforgettable safe Tanzanian hospitality.

Thank You all for your attention!
Karibu Tanzania!

Keynote_speech_by_Minister_press_event_on_5_Oct_2020_Dar_es_Salaam

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