Tanzania has been urged to capitalise on the forthcoming First Pan African Conference on Tourism to promote and market its attractive hotspots through the global participants expected to attend the event.

According to United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) Secretary General Dr. Taleb Rifai, “Tourism industry is the future of Tanzania’s economy and therefore opportunities like this one must be effectively used by tourism stakeholders in the country to showcase what they could offer to the world, so as to increase the number of tourist arrivals in the country, which is now below one million a year.”

Rifai stated the conference with the theme, “Tourism Management in National Parks and Protected Areas: Challenges and Opportunities”, which will be held from October 15 to 18 October 2012 in northern Tanzania’s safari capital of Arusha; will give Tanzania a golden opportunity to disclose its tourist potentials to more than 350 participants of the conference.

While speaking with Tanzanian Minister for Tourism, Khamis Kagasheki, in Madrid, Rifai advocated that the country’s tourism sector be taken seriously, as the more people invest in it, it will translate into positive impact on the country’s economy.

The UNWTO chief assures that his organisation will offer maximum support to Tanzania to ensure that it attains its goal of reaching a one million tourist arrival mark in a short period of time

Kagasheki, on his part said “The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania will work hard to ensure that the conference bears fruitful results to the tourism sector in the country.”

He affirmed that Tanzania has all the potential as far as tourist attractions is concerned and assured the UN tourism body that his government will work closely with the private sector in the country, to keep the ball rolling for the betterment of the country’s economy.

The First Pan African Conference, with a focus on challenges and opportunities on sustainable tourism management in African national parks and protected areas, will look at the balance between environmental and cultural protection and tourism development, specifically on policy and management issues, as well as regulatory framework, in order to sustain high quality visitor experience.

The conference aims to encourage professional approach to better position “park tourism” as one of the core components of overall national park management in Africa and to conduct an overview of the current challenges in terms of demand and supply chain.

UNWTO believes that nature-based tourism or eco-tourism is a large and growing global industry, partially dependent upon the attributes of the natural environment and biodiversity of the wildlife and scenery, which represent one of Africa’s strategic competitive advantages as a destination.

According to World Tourism Organisation figures, the tourism sector accounts for some 235 million jobs worldwide and is responsible for around 5 percent of global gross domestic product, according to World Tourism Organisation figures.


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