STATUS OF TOURISM SECTOR IN TANZANIA
Tourism in Tanzania plays a vital role in the country’s economic development. It is one of the major sources of foreign exchange. The sector accounts for 17.2% of the GDP and nearly 25% of total export earnings. It directly supports an estimated 288,700 jobs[i] (TTB, 2008). Foreign exchange receipts from tourism grew from US$259.44 million in 1995 to $1,269.68 million in 2008. Tourist arrivals have shown a steady increase from 295,312 in 1995 to 770,376 in 2008 (MNRT, 2008). USA, UK, Italy, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Sweden, France, South Africa, India and China, remain to be the major tourist source markets for Tanzania.
At a macro level tourism has been consistently contributing to employment and GDP and hence positively affecting the macroeconomic conditions of the country. The GDP contribution averaged an impressive 15 percent a year from an average growth of international tourism arrivals of 6.8 percent during this period. At the same period for every 1 percent increase in tourist arrivals the GDP grew by an average of 2.2 percent. (Scott, 2009)[ii]
At the micro level the importance of tourism to the overall development of the Tanzania tourism industry and rural poverty alleviation is reflected within various planning and policy documents. The Rural Development Strategy identifies tourism as a key tool in rural poverty alleviation, advocating that “the rural economy is linked to the new engines of economic growth, particularly tourism,” in order to stimulate “pro-poor growth” (URT, 2001). Tanzania Tourism Policy and Integrated Tourism Master Plan advocate developing Community Based Tourism in the northern part of the country on village lands. The Wildlife Policy of Tanzania supports Community Based Tourism by advocating the placement of “future major tourist developments outside protected areas (PAs) in order to reduce negative impacts and enhance benefit sharing with local communities”....