The government and private sector have agreed to partner in promoting tourism in the emerging economies, particularly in Asia.
Natural Resources and Tourism Minister, Prof Jumanne Maghembe and officials of the Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) agreed during the Karibu Tourism Fair that all promotion efforts should target Asia in order to double the number of tourists come 2020.
"Our joint marketing campaign should target China, India, Indonesia and other emerging economies in a bid to double the number of tourists visiting Tanzania annually" Prof Maghembe told tourism stakeholders who were taking part at annual Karibu Tourism Show in Arusha.
Wildlife tourism in Tanzania continues to grow, with more than one million guests who visit the country annually, earning the country $2.05 billion, equivalent to nearly 17.6 per cent of GDP.
Additionally, tourism provides 600,000 direct jobs to Tanzanians; over one million people earn an income from tourism not to mention the value chain of tourism which supports, parks, conservation areas and now community based wildlife management areas (WMA's) but also farmers, transporters, fuel stations, spare parts suppliers, builders, tent manufacturers, suppliers of food and drink.
Meanwhile, the minister assured the tourism stakeholders that the government has no plans to introduce the new fees, levies and other charges on tourism in a short notice, as a way to create conducive environment for local tour operators to compete "Tourism is a competition sector, the government will not enforce new charges with an eye to allow our destination a breathing space to remain competitive" Prof Maghembe told members of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) at Karibu Fair.
Earlier, TATO Chairman, Mr Wilbard Chambulo implored the Minister to allow a minimum period of 12-month notice and participation of the tourism private sector before introducing new fees, levies and other charges.
Please, at least allow a minimum period of 12-month notice and participation of the tourism private sector before introducing new fees, levies and other charges in a bid to create trust in the international tourism market and to remain competitive globally, Mr Chambulo insisted.
Former TATO Vice-chairman, Mr Zuher Fazal, said Karibu Fair which is the East African premier and the second largest tourism show in Africa after South Africa's Indaba, needs joint efforts between private and public sectors to become international exhibition.
We need to elevate Karibu Fair from local to international travel and tourism show, but this can only be possible through public-private-partnership to market it extensively Mr Fazal explained.
Part of the 18-year-old outdoor event's uniqueness and excitement is that it offers a real safari experience.
Karibu Fair Chairman, Mr Sam Diah said the three days event, which is registered with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), attracted nearly 8,000 visitors from within and outside the country.
The event, which is well covered by local, regional, and international media; attracts hundreds of exhibitors, delegates, and thousands of visitors, showcasing a diverse of local and regional tourism products.
It gives participants the opportunity to exchange ideas, build alliances, and network locally, regionally, and internationally.