November 21, 2019

Tanzania’s Worldwide “Karibu” at SITE 2019

In the picture Masaai Dance Troupe from the Osiligilai Maasai Lodge

Photography and text by Catherine Dailey.

On October 20, 2019, Tanzania’s 5th “Swahili International Tourism Expo” (SITE 2019) for the tourism and hospitality sectors was festively concluded. More than 3,000 visitors attended this year’s global event which featured over 170 international and local exhibitors.  

A warm Swahili “Karibu” or “Welcome” was extended to buyers, tour operators, travel agents and media representatives, who travelled from some 60 countries to attend East Africa’s largest exposition devoted exclusively to the tourism trade. In addition to the buyers from neighboring African countries, international buyers from Belgium, China, Denmark, Germany, India, Japan, Latvia, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Thailand and more attended SITE-2019. Plans are already underway for “SITE 2020”, which will be held from July 24-26, 2020.

L to R: Kijazi, Kigwangala and Ms. Devota Mdachi exit the SITE-Tanzania 2019 Expo.

Chief Secretary, H.E. Ambassador Eng. Dr. John Kijazi, the Guest of Honour, represented the President of Tanzania, Mr. John Joseph Magufuli, at the Expo. He spoke briefly and praised both the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, under the direction of H.E. Hon. Dr. Harnis Kigwangala, together with the Tanzanian Tourist Board, headed by Ms. Devota Mdachi, the Managing Director, for their successful efforts with supporting governmental initiatives to promote Tanzania.

Preparations for a Sunrise Serengeti Balloon Safari.

The country is a world-renowned tourist destination for wildlife and nature enthusiasts and both organizations are actively engaged with diversifying, expanding and improving the country’s palette of tourist product offerings.

Tanzania’s safari adventures, designed for every age and interest, are often combined with cultural heritage tourism experiences. Two well established examples are the ever popular  Cultural Heritage Center in Arusha or Olpopongi-Maasai Cultural Village and Museum.

Ngorongoro Conservatorium area.

Marine tourism (Mafia Island Marine Park or MIMP),  historic tourism and beach tourism are among other “multi-center” offerings across the country. In addition to Zanzibar Island, with its glistening beaches and historic “Stone Town”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the country offers more than 800 km of largely undeveloped white sand coastline which is available for innumerable foreign investment opportunities.

H.E. Ambassador Kijazi emphasized that, “you are safe in Tanzania security wise and health wise.” Tanzania, as is already known by international travel industry professionals, is widely recognized as being one of the most stable, secure and welcoming countries in Africa. He called upon the country’s ambassadors, who are serving abroad at diplomatic missions around the world, to continue promoting “Wildlife and Nature” tourism to Tanzania.

Tanzania’s tourism sector has seen a whopping 300% growth over the last decade and directly supports more than 450,000 jobs.  According to a recent World Bank report, Tanzania has the potential to receive more than eight million foreign visitors in 2025, a nearly seven-fold increase from current numbers, over a span of a little more than five years. Such impressive figures are of particular importance to Tanzania as the country has designated an astonishing 44% of the nation’s land mass to national parks, wildlife game reserves, and other conservation areas.

One must use superlatives when attempting to describe Tanzania’s abundance of natural wealth. In order to meet the rapidly increasing demand for natural tourism offerings, the government encourages the development of public and private partnerships to further develop the country’s tourism products in a sustainable way to support and benefit people who are often living in remote rural communities.  

Lioness, apex predator of the Serengeti plains near the Masai Mara river Crossing.

Three of the “Seven Natural Wonders of Africa” including the  Great Serengeti Wildebeest Migration; Mt. Kilimanjaro, a dormant volcano and Africa’s highest peak (Kibo Summit is 19,341 ft. above sea level) and the Ngorongoro Crater, an extinct volcanic caldera in the eastern Rift Valley can be found in northern Tanzania.

The latter is part of the vast Ngorongoro Conservation Area. The Ngorongoro Lengai Crater is Africa’s only UNESCO classified Global “GeoPark”(UGGp) and, together with Tanzania’s other national parks, is home to hundreds of thousands, even millions, of migratory animals.

All locations are well managed undisturbed natural environments where the “Big Five” African mammals can be freely observed in their own habitats.  In addition, the country borders on both Lake Tanganyika and Lake Victoria, the largest lake on the African continent.

Travelers considering a “safari” vacation should begin their “desktop” research by visiting the website of the Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) where detailed information about wildlife, bird watching, trekking, family, singles and photo safaris can be found.

An extensive collection of tourist publications can also be downloaded from the site by clicking here.

Additional Web Resources

Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO)

Official TTB “A-Z” Tour Operators Listing

Hotel Association of Tanzania (HAT)

Tanzania National Parks

Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism

Cultural Heritage Center Arusha

Comments are closed.