US travel agents: Tanzania needs to invest in destination promotion

Tanzania needs to invest heavily and consistently in promoting itself as Africa’s premier tourism destination in the strategic global markets, for it to get a fair share.

This is an opinion sum-up of the US travel agents who are currently in the familiarization tour in Tanzania’s famous northern circuit and Zanzibar, courtesy of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO)’s tourism reboot program.

“I’m coming from the USA and trust me, majority of Americans do not know Tanzania, forget about its breath-taking wildlife safaris, beach holidays, and cultural and landscape excursions” said Priscilla Holmes, from Cilla Travel in USA.

Most of Americans, she explained, think that Africa is a single country full of aggressive wildlife and just a few human beings roaming amidst the wild animals. 

“I’m going to use the opportunity to explore and experience Tanzania firsthand in order to promote it to my high-end clients.” Ms. Holmes explained.

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She said that unrivalled natural beauty, wildlife abundance, pristine beaches, generous people and a diverse feast of its culture endow the country.

Elaine Cook, a Travel designer, from Florida-based Mama Kuku Travel, said that American travelers are scared to travel to Africa, owing to a long-time negative perception on the continent.

“They can only trust to come alongside with a friend who has been here. It takes a personal touch for American holiday makers to make decision,” Cook explained.

Indeed, holidays in Tanzania are paradise, as the country is fascinating with its wealth of nature, its diverse animal world and array of culture.

Holidaymakers quite often experience the “big five” – Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, and Rhinoceros – up close in the Serengeti National Park, hike up Mount Kilimanjaro or relax on the beach of a tropical island like Arab-influenced Zanzibar.

“If you are looking for variety, you are guaranteed to find it in Tanzania. Kilimanjaro, for instance, the hiker’s Paradise. Kilimanjaro, the roof of Africa, attracts nature lovers from all over the world with its imposing snow crown,” said TATO CEO, Sirili Akko.

 The area around Mount Kilimanjaro is the ideal starting point for discovering Tanzania’s endless steppe landscapes and incredible wealth of wildlife.

The brilliant white beaches on the spice island of Zanzibar promise all-round pampering and plenty of relaxation, Mr. Akko explained, adding that tourists should come to Zanzibar, to experience the tropical beauty.

“It’s bathing holidays that smell of pepper, cloves and vanilla, where the azure sea gently laps your feet, and your senses learn to fly. The year-round warm, crystal-clear water and the white powder-sand beaches make Zanzibar the African dream destination to unwind,” he explained.

In support of President HE, Samia Suluhu Hassan’s initiatives to promote the destination Tanzania, TATO supported by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) introduced a Tourism Reboot program to offer FAM trips for global travel agents to experience Tanzania and its beauties firsthand. 

TATO’s primary mission is to support the vast membership of tour operators in Tanzania. Tour operators create and curate challenging expeditions out to the savannas of the Serengeti, or coordinate complicated climbs up Mount Kilimanjaro.

“Travel agents depend on tour operators all around the globe to provide safe, well-orchestrated journeys for their clients. TATO provides its members a platform to stay connected in a travel field that is also directly linked to the conservation of endangered wildlife, threatening climate change and cultural preservation” said TATO Chairman, Wilbard Chambulo.

Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), the country’s leading members-only group advocating for over 300 private expert tour operators. 

Tanzania is the home of the number one Safari destination in the World and houses four of the most coveted adventure destinations on earth: the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, and Ngorongoro Crater.

Tanzania is well endowed with great natural scenery from wilderness to tropical forests, stunning coastline, magnificent national parks and reserves, bustling cities offering non-stop ambiance, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, wildlife, and much more.

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