Tanzania’s tourism industry bounces back with 37.2% increase in tourist arrivals

  • Tanzania’s tourism industry is staging a comeback, with earnings surging from $1.95 billion in July 2022 to $2.99 billion in July 2023.
  • Tourist arrivals increased by 37.2%, reaching a record 1,658,043 visitors.
  • Europe and the United States remain primary sources of tourists visiting Tanzania for leisure and holidays.

Tanzania’s tourism industry is making a remarkable comeback nearly four years after its revenues plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The recent data from the Bank of Tanzania reveals that tourism has staged an impressive recovery, contributing $2.99 billion to foreign exchange earnings in July 2023, compared to $1.95 billion in July 2022.

According to the Bank of Tanzania, this represents a 33% surge in service receipts, reaching $5.49 billion in July 2023, up from $4.12 billion in July 2022.

The bank also noted that this resurgence in tourism and increased earnings from gold have played a pivotal role in boosting Tanzania’s service earnings to over $5 billion for the first time in its history.

In 2019, Tanzania’s tourism sector generated approximately $2.52 billion, but by December 2020, its earnings had dropped significantly to just $1 billion.

Gold emerged as the country’s primary foreign exchange earner during this period, generating $2.958 billion in December 2020.

The recovery in the tourism sector is highlighted by a 37.2% increase in foreign arrivals, totalling 1,658,043 visitors during the year—reaching an all-time high.

The previous record for tourism earnings in Tanzania was $2.5 billion, achieved in 2019 when the country welcomed 1,527,230 tourists.

Europe and the United States remain primary sources of tourists visiting Tanzania for leisure and holidays, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Source: Business Insider Africa

Kenya Set to Host Regional Tourism Expo in November

It is Kenya’s turn to host the 3rd edition of the East Africa Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) slated for November as the country roots for regional tourism.

While unveiling the event at KICC set for November 20th -22nd 2023, Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza at the same time announced that the event will be held alongside the annual Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE).

She said the twin tourism fairs will enhance Kenya’s and the region’s visibility, forge partnerships and enhance investments in the hospitality, travel, and tourism sectors.

 “This year, we shall be integrating the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo (MKTE) and the East African Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) seamlessly, demonstrating our unwavering commitment to unity and a shared vision within the East African Community,” Malonza said.

“During this period, Kenya will host regional tourism stakeholders and players in the sector. The events provide a platform for the travel trade in the region to showcase and network with the world, my ministry is are dedicated to promoting tourism within the region.”

She added that the tourism sector continues to play a key role in enabling the regional economies.

 “By creating opportunities towards building inclusive growth and employment, EARTE and MKTE 2023 will allow us to keep industry stakeholders informed on progresses made towards industry growth and the new strategies, programs and partnerships available in the market.” Said the CS.

Malonza also emphasized that expos form an integral part of the tourism sector and that it is imperative that countries work in collaboration with their respective regional partners in an effort to strengthen tourism.

The Principal Secretary East Africa Community Abdi Dubat said: “The tourism sector contributes an average 9.5 percent of the East Africa region’s GDP and average 7.1 percent of employment opportunities in the  region translating to over four million jobs.

The East Africa Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE) and the Magical Kenya Tourism Expo (MKTE) presents us with an opportunity to share our unique and common heritage to the world.

The region is ready to share and promote quality tourism to the world, we now have greater potential for intra Africa tourism which we should continue to advocate for” Said Dubat.

On his part, Principal Secretary for Tourism John Olotuaa said “The hosting the two epos is a genuine manifestation of our commitment to promote intra-regional tourism flow across our borders. We are confident that this platform will provide opportunities for consolidation of relations among our partners across Africa, Europe and beyond. These relations will go a long way towards increasing tourism receipts from key and emerging source markets,” she said.

The East Africa Regional Tourism Expo (EARTE), is an annual regional travel fair showcasing the region’s diverse tourism offering to consumers, and trade, hosted by the East African Community partner states on a rotational basis.

The inaugural Regional Tourism Expo was hosted by the United Republic of Tanzania (URT) in October 2021 in Arusha, while the second edition was hosted by the Republic of Burundi in September 2022 in Bujumbura.

The Magical Kenya Travel Expo (MKTE) is Kenya’s annual flagship travel trade fair that brings together tourism stakeholders, partners and media from some of Kenya’s key source markets in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.

The two expos have been combined into one event, creating more value and enhancing the level of engagement at the show for all the participants.

Kenya Tourism Board Ag. CEO John Chirchir commented: “We are delighted to be hosting these two expos because it gives us an opportunity to profile Kenya as a unique tourist destination globally.

The fairs will also provide an opportunity for us to consolidate our position as a premier Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) destination in the region, which is key in efforts to grow and maintain our global share of the international tourism market.”

Source: Capital Fm

DRC scraps visa requirements for Kenyans

Kenyan travelers will no longer need visas to visit the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The DRC has recently lifted visa requirements for Kenyan citizens, reciprocating a similar move made by Kenya just five days earlier.

This development was officially announced by the Directorate General of Migration in the DRC. The change took effect on September 1, 2023, coinciding with Kenya’s decision to waive visa requirements for Congolese citizens traveling to Kenya.

The decision to remove visa requirements for Kenyans traveling to the DRC was made in accordance with the directives of the President. The DRC has moved Kenya from category 2 to category 1 in terms of visa requirements, aligning with the East African Community’s regulations on free movement of people among member states.

This move toward greater ease of travel follows a trend in Africa. President William Ruto had previously mentioned during the African Private Sector Dialogue Conference on Free Trade that this could be the last time African citizens would have to pay for visas to visit Kenya.

In recent months, Kenya has also announced visa-free travel for citizens of Indonesia, Comoros, and Senegal. Additionally, Kenya and Eritrea have agreed to permanently eliminate visa requirements for their respective citizens. Furthermore, Kenya has been actively pursuing visa-free arrangements with other countries, such as Djibouti, to promote trade and cooperation.

In another positive development, Kenyan passport holders can now enter South Africa without a visa, thanks to a new visa-free regime between the two nations. This arrangement was achieved through diplomatic efforts, with President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa playing a crucial role in the negotiations.

These changes mark significant steps towards facilitating travel and fostering greater cooperation between African nations, ultimately benefiting citizens and promoting regional integration.

Source: Africa News

Rwanda Looks to Dubai to Strengthen Luxury Hospitality

Rwanda is seeking to pick from Dubai’s experiences to energise the local high end hospitality sector.

President Paul Kagame on Friday hosted at Village Urugwiro Mohammed Al Shaibani, Managing Director of the Investment Corporation of Dubai and Chair of Kerzner International.

The two held, “a discussion on strengthening partnerships that are contributing to Rwanda’s growing luxury hospitality and eco-tourism sectors,” according to the Rwandan Presidency.

Established in 2006, the Investment Corporation of Dubai (ICD) is the principal investment arm of the Government of Dubai.

This investment corporation seeks to invest in attractive opportunities to achieve appropriate risk-adjusted returns over the long-term across a range of asset classes, sectors and geographies.

Currently the ICD boasts of 61Companies and has a footprint in 6 Continents, and 87 Countries.

ICD is involved with Banking & Finance Services,Transportation, Oil & Gas,Industrial, Hospitality & Leisure, Real Estate & Construction and also Retail & Other Holdings.

Meanwhile, the Investment Corporation of Dubai reported revenue of Dh267.4 billion for the year ended December 31, 2022, a 58 per cent increase compared to the year-ago period.

A significant surge in travel and tourism activities as well as a jump in oil and gas revenues helped the group post a net profit of Dh36.1 billion for the period. Net profit attributable to the equity holder was Dh29.8 billion.

Mohammed Ibrahim Al Shaibani, Managing Director, Investment Corporation of Dubai, said, “With the strong momentum in the Dubai economy, the ICD group was able to further deploy its operational capacity in an agile manner and benefited both from a scale effect and a strong discipline on costs, producing its best ever performance.”

The group’s balance-sheet ended the year in a very favourable position, with improved asset quality, liquidity and leverage and a record equity base.

“Overall, the group emerges resilient and stronger than ever from a volatile period marked by geopolitical conflicts and rising interest rates.”

The Investment Corporation has airlines such as Emirates and flyDubai under its portfolio, along with top lenders such as Emirates NBD, Commercial Bank of Dubai and Dubai Islamic Bank.

Source: Taarifa

ATM 2024 to explore how entrepreneurship is empowering innovation in the Middle East’s travel industry

Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the Middle East’s leading event for inbound and outbound travel and tourism professionals, has unveiled its next theme: ‘Empowering Innovation: Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship.’ The 31 st edition of the show will take place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from Monday 6 to Thursday 9 May 2024.

Over the last 15 years, the travel and tourism industry has secured only 1 percent of total funding for startups across all industries, according to analysis from McKinsey. This is despite the fact that the sector accounted for more than 10 percent of global GDP in 2019. With exhibitors from the fields of aviation, accommodation, hospitality, attractions, technology and more, ATM 2024 will explore how innovators in the travel and tourism space are working to attract greater levels of funding to further increase the sector’s overall contribution to global GDP.

The 31 st edition of ATM will once again host policymakers, industry leaders and travel professionals from across the Middle East and beyond, encouraging them to forge new relationships, exchange knowledge and identify innovations with the potential to reshape the future of global travel and tourism. From startups to established brands, the upcoming show will highlight how innovators are enhancing customer experiences, driving efficiencies and accelerating progress towards a net-zero future for the industry.

Danielle Curtis, Exhibition Director, Arabian Travel Market, said: “The Middle East’s travel and tourism sector has demonstrated impressive resilience and growth in recent years, but we must continue to innovate and adapt in order to achieve the industry’s long-term goals. Thanks to ATM 2024’s theme, ‘Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship’, we have a golden opportunity to showcase expert insights, cutting-edge technologies and commercial opportunities with the potential to completely reshape the sector.”

Building on ATM 2023’s theme of ‘Working Towards Net Zero’, environmentally responsible travel will represent a key focus during the show’s upcoming edition. Informed by the UAE’s Year of Sustainability and the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), which will take place in Dubai later this year, ATM 2024 will explore how innovation can be leveraged to help achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by building a greener travel and tourism sector for future generations.

More than 40,000 travel trade professionals, including 30,000 visitors, attended the 30th edition of ATM in May 2023, setting a new show record. The exhibition attracted more than 2,100 exhibitors and representatives from over 155 countries, providing a global platform for the unveiling of ATM’s net-zero pledge.

ATM 2024 will empower the global travel and tourism community to harness entrepreneurism, helping to catalyse innovation, increase revenues and maximise sustainability over the long term. The UAE aims to attract $150 billion in foreign investment by 2030, making it the perfect environment for these activities. With an emphasis on technological innovation, the nation plans to strengthen its position as an international hub for start-ups – a focus that looks set to benefit entrepreneurs operating in the region’s travel and tourism sector. By exploring the ways in which an entrepreneurial mindset can lead to positive change within the industry, ATM 2024 will enable attendees to identify strategies for growth across a range of key industry verticals.

“As a global leader in innovation, the UAE offers the perfect environment in which to explore these trends and identify new avenues for growth,” Curtis added. “Following the record-breaking levels of attendance witnessed during ATM 2023, my colleagues and I cannot wait to welcome the global travel community to Dubai once again next year.”

Held in conjunction with Dubai World Trade Centre, ATM 2024’s strategic partners include Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET), Destination Partner; Emirates, Official Airline Partner; IHG Hotels & Resorts, Official Hotel Partner; and Al Rais Travel, Official DMC Partner.

Source: Traveldaily News

Dubai’s Department of Economy & Tourism Roadshow – East Africa

Dubai is bringing its magic to East Africa with an exclusive event hosted by the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism (DET). The Dubai Tourism Roadshow in East Africa is set to be a spectacular showcase of the Emirate’s products and services in the travel and medical sectors. With over 20 participating companies from the tourism and hospitality industry, including airlines, hotels, destination management companies, entertainment providers, and hospitals, this event promises to be a game-changer for both business professionals and travelers in East Africa.

Connecting East Africa to Dubai’s Unique Offerings

Dubai has long been a sought-after destination for travelers from all corners of the globe. Its awe-inspiring skyline, luxurious hotels, world-class shopping, and diverse culinary experiences make it a dream destination for tourists. However, this event aims to go beyond just showcasing Dubai’s glitzy attractions. It’s about establishing meaningful connections between East Africa and Dubai, with a focus on two key sectors: tourism and healthcare.

Dubai’s Diverse Participation

One of the highlights of the Dubai Tourism Roadshow is the diverse range of participants from Dubai’s vibrant tourism and hospitality industry. Airlines, hotels, destination management companies, entertainment providers, and hospitals have all come together to showcase their offerings.

For those looking to explore Dubai’s breathtaking landscapes, there are airlines offering special deals on flights to Dubai. The event is also an opportunity to discover the city’s luxurious accommodations, with a variety of hotels participating, each offering unique experiences to suit different budgets and preferences.

Destination management companies will be on hand to help East African travelers craft their dream Dubai experience, from desert safaris to city tours, ensuring every moment in Dubai is unforgettable. Entertainment providers will also be showcasing their offerings, from world-class performances to family-friendly attractions.

A Unique Focus on Healthcare

Beyond the glitz and glamour, Dubai has gained recognition as a medical tourism hub. The Dubai Tourism Roadshow is also shedding light on the city’s healthcare sector. Hospitals from Dubai will be present to discuss the cutting-edge medical treatments and services available, attracting patients from East Africa seeking world-class healthcare.

Dubai has invested heavily in its healthcare infrastructure, and it’s evident in the presence of hospitals that are at the forefront of medical innovation. This event presents an excellent opportunity for medical professionals and healthcare institutions in East Africa to explore potential collaborations and partnerships.

Dubai Raffle Prizes and Giveaways

To add an extra layer of excitement to the event, Dubai’s partners are offering fantastic raffle prizes and giveaways. Attendees have the chance to win flights, accommodation, activities, and much more in Dubai. These enticing rewards underscore Dubai’s commitment to making dreams come true for East African travelers.

Networking Opportunities

In addition to exploring the offerings of participating companies, attendees can take advantage of the networking lunch with Dubai stakeholders. This is a chance to connect with industry experts, share ideas, and establish valuable contacts. Whether you’re in the travel and tourism business or the healthcare sector, the networking opportunities at the Dubai Tourism Roadshow can open doors to new collaborations and ventures.

Join DET in Nairobi, Kenya

The Dubai Tourism Roadshow in East Africa is an event that promises to bridge the gap between East Africa and the dazzling world of Dubai. If you’re a travel professional looking to offer your clients unique Dubai experiences or a healthcare professional interested in exploring Dubai’s cutting-edge medical services, this event is not to be missed.

Join us in Nairobi, Kenya, on September 29, 2023, for an unforgettable day of discovery, networking, and exciting giveaways. Dubai is ready to welcome East Africa with open arms, and the Dubai Department of Economy & Tourism is here to make the connection happen. Book your spot today and be a part of this remarkable journey. Dubai awaits you!

Kenya to leverage MICE as it targets bigger revenue share from tourism mix

Kenya is targeting a bigger share of revenue from Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), a lucrative part of the tourism mix across the globe.

The Cabinet Secretary, Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Peninah Malonza, says that the Government will spearhead bids to host at least 10 regional and international conventions in Kenya every year, and adds that the Kenyatta International Convention Centre, KICC, a premier event location, will play a key role in this drive.

The CS observes that the 2022 International Congress and Convention Association Destination Performance Index report reveals that Kenya ranked second in Africa as an ideal location for hosting association meetings.

The MICE sector is an important contributor to the Kenyan economy. According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics, the tourism sector, including MICE, contributed 8.8 percent to Kenya’s Gross Domestic Product in 2019. Furthermore, the MICE sector grew by 5.5 percent in 2019, generating Sh115 billion (approximately USD 1.05 billion) in revenue.

The global MICE market, which involves travel for business-oriented purposes, was valued at USD 876.42 billion in 2022 and is expected to experience a compound annual growth rate of 7.5 percent from 2023 to 2030. MICE is a niche of the travel and tourism industry.

Ms Malonza explains that goal of MICE is to provide an enhanced, customised hospitality setting that brings together top professionals from various industries.

She notes that the market is benefiting from an increase in the number of companies worldwide that offer MICE services. This is contributing to the sector’s growth.

Says the CS: “Kenya aims to leverage its distinctive attributes to maintain a substantial portion of the market share in the industry. Improved destination management, with the assistance of KICC, which has been entrusted with the responsibility, can facilitate the achievement of this goal.”

Since its inception on September 11, 1973, KICC has been the preferred venue for meetings and conventions in East and Central Africa, and in fact gave birth to Kenya’s MICE industry. Through it, Kenya has hosted numerous high-profile conventions, personalities, signature events and even signed treaties and made declarations – KICC recently hosted the Africa Climate Summit that attracted more than 12,000 regional and international delegates and several heads of state, among other dignitaries.

Ms Malonza says her ministry is grateful to President William Ruto for spearheading the bid to host this important global conference in Kenya.

Such conferences and events are the surest way of raising Kenya’s profile and positioning it as a preferred destination for MICE.

The CS further notes that KICC is the only purpose-built convention centre in East Africa. KICC was designed by Norwegian architec, Karl Henrik Nostvik, in 1967.

The design structure combined the understanding of traditions, aspirations and environment of the people of Kenya with the needs of modern conference organisers in terms of space, administration and auxiliary services and requirements.

The Convention Centre and the Conference tourism sector in Kenya has undergone various milestones and memorable events have taken place at the KICC since 1973, 50 golden years later.

After its recent refurbishment, KICC is primed for bigger meetings in its next 50 years.

Source: Business Daily

Niger reopens its airspace after almost a month’s closure

The military regime that emerged from a coup in Niger decided on Monday to reopen its airspace to commercial flights, which had been closed since 6 August, according to the official Niger News Agency (ANP).

“The airspace of the Republic of Niger is open to all national and international commercial flights”, said a spokesman for the Ministry of Transport, quoted by the ANP, adding that ground services had also resumed.

“Airspace is still closed to all operational military flights and other special flights, which are only authorised subject to prior authorisation from the competent authorities”, he added.

On 6 August, Niger announced the closure of its airspace “in view of the threat of intervention from neighbouring countries”, as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) threatened military intervention to restore the elected president Mohamed Bazoum, who was overthrown by a coup d’état on 26 July.

Niger’s land and air borders were closed by the military the day after they took power, then reopened with five neighbouring countries on 2 August: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Libya, Mali and Chad.

However, some flights with special authorisations were able to continue to serve Niamey airport, the country’s capital.

Niger continues to suffer from the sanctions imposed on the country by ECOWAS to bring the ruling military to heel. 

The UN has warned that regional sanctions and the closure of borders are “greatly affecting Niger’s supply of vital food and medical supplies”

Source: Africa News

Africa TravelTech Summit & Expo 2023: Accelerating Africa’s Travel Industry

In a digital era, innovation is the engine driving the travel industry forward, and KATA in partnership with SNG Events are leading the charge!

Join us at the Africa TravelTech Summit & Expo 2023 on September 26th and 27th in Nairobi, at Emaara Ole Sereni Hotel, where the travel industry’s sharpest minds will converge.

We’re excited to announce that our very own KATA Chairperson, Dr. Joseph Kithitu, will be among the distinguished speakers at this prestigious event.

With a focus on enhancing efficiency in service delivery and embracing technology to transform travel, this summit is a must-attend for travel agents looking to level up their businesses in the digital age!

Don’t miss this opportunity to network with industry experts, explore cutting-edge technology trends, and discover new strategies to remain competitive in the market. It’s time to take your travel business to new heights!

Stay tuned for more details as we gear up for Africa’s leading travel event with a focus on technology. Don’t forget to follow us on our social media platforms for real-time updates –Keep soaring with KATA!

#KATAEvents #AfricaTravelTechSummit #InnovationInTravel

Source: KATA Media Desk

DRC nationals to visit Kenya visa free

Nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo will from now visit Kenya without a visa, Nairobi announced on Friday.

The new policy, Kenya says is part of continuing legal shift to accommodate the DRC’s admission into the East African Community.

A noticed issued last week to all diplomatic missions abroad as well as Kenya’s regional administrative heads had alerted officials of the imminent change in policy. It said the visa waiver will be effective from September 01.

“The government of Kenya has removed Democratic Republic of Congo from Category 2 to category 1 of the visa regulations in compliance with the East Africa Community Regulations of free movement of persons within the member states,” said the circular dated August 25.

“In this regard, Kenya has waived visa requirements for all nationals of the Democratic Republic of Congo effective September 1, 2023.”

The DRC became the seventh member of the EAC last year in May.

And though it has yet to ascend to some of the protocols including that on free movement and the customs union, Kinshasa had generally used bilateral agreements with current member states on visa. Kenyans, under that arrangement, do not need visas to the DRC.

The Congolese authorities have been waiting a long time for this measure. A few months ago, Christophe Lutundula spoke of the importance of facilitating the movement of people and goods in the EAC bloc.

The Congolese Foreign Minister argued that most of the goods coming from the Indian Ocean pass through the port of Mombasa in Kenya. He also added that, in addition to the port of Mombasa, goods also pass through Dar Es Salam in Tanzania.

The Congolese authorities nevertheless said that they expected the Congo and its citizens, as members of the East African community, should now benefit from the same customs facilities due to members of the East African community.

According to the minister, who spoke weeks before this decision, the DRC has every reason to seek regional integration and to succeed in its integration into the East African bloc, since 5 of the 9 neighbouring countries (Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan) are in the East and belong to the East African Community.

This is why, as soon as he came to power in January 2019, President Félix Tshisekedi focused his diplomatic strategy on his eastern neighbours, “the most integrated bloc in Africa”, as the Congolese president used to say.

Source: The East African