Black Meetings and Tourism

January / February 2020

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B M & T ••• January/February 2020 ••• 31 F R O M M O T H E R L A N D T anzania is emerging as an African leader in the rapidly growing meetings, conferences and events industry. Tanzania's growth within the business tourism sector has been driven by growing international recognition of a tourism industry second to none in terms of diversity and quality of experiences. As younger business travellers and entrepreneurs increasingly look to com- bine business and leisure travel, Tanzania is moving to ensure the connectivity and infrastructure is in place to welcome growing numbers of African business travellers. Arusha International Conference Centre CEO Elishilia D. Kaaya revealed the ambitious plans in an interview with stating "We are steadily preparing the country for the big time when it comes to business tourism. "Arusha is home to some of the most acclaimed natural sites in the world such as the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, and Ngorongoro crater. Our center is closely associated with these amazing sites because of our proximity to them. We want people to think about these won- ders of the world whenever the Arusha International Conference Centre is men- tioned." The development of the industry in Tanzania will see continued investment in infrastructure and facilities with new conference centers developing close to the country's main tourist and business hubs such as Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam. Mr. Kaaya explained "Our vision is to create a road map for the development of this sector in the country. As far as I am concerned, this sector still has a lot to accomplish to reach its full potential. Arusha ICC runs a similar facility in Dar es Salaam known as the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre. That center just successfully host- ed the thirty-ninth SADC head of states summit. "We are looking to develop many more such centers all over the country to boost business tourism and conferences in the future. We are currently scouting areas like Zanzibar, D o d o m a , Mwanza, and also the southern part of Tanzania that is rich in natural endowments. As the only public organi- zation in the country dealing with busi- ness tourism and conferences, we feel it is high time other parts of the country also partake in the share of this huge cake." One of the principal barriers to devel- oping intra-African tourism remains connectivity between nations. In Tanzania, the return of national carrier Air Tanzania in 2016 followed by the establishment of direct flights to Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa was a significant boost to the tourism industry. The national carrier's routes are com- plemented by an extensive network of airlines including Precision Air, Ethiopian Airlines and South African Airways serving the country. Investment continues into the road infrastructure which connects the busi- ness and tourism hubs of the country. Mr. Kaaya cites infrastructure invest- ment as a key driver of growth for the industry, stating "The Tanzanian market is growing fast because we are improving our infrastructure. Someone who last vis- ited our country 10 years ago will be pleasantly surprised at the developments we have made." TANZANIA IS AN AFRICAN LEADER FOR MEETINGS, CONFERENCES AND BUSINESS TOURISM Tanzania is Moving to Ensure the Connectivity and Infrastructure is In Place to Welcome Growing Numbers of African Business Travellers The Serengeti National Park with Mt. Kilimanjaro in background

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