This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 1/29/2019

Overview 

Over 44 percent of Tanzania's land mass is set aside for national parks and game reserves.  Of the Seven Natural Wonders of Africa, three are located in Tanzania:  the Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti National Park and Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tanzania also boasts six World Heritage Sites: among the three named above, the ruins of Kilwa Kisiwani, the Selous Game Reserve (the world's largest national protected area) and Zanzibar's Stone Town round out the list.  Tanzania's famous islands of Zanzibar, Mafia Island and Pemba also attract many tourists to their fabled beaches and diving locations.  Recently the Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report of The World Economic Forum placed Tanzania second worldwide (after Brazil), for its natural beauty.

According to World Travel Tourism Council, total contribution of tourism to GDP in 2017 was 9.0 percent and it is forecast to rise to 9.1 percent in 2018. This sector directly supported 446,000 jobs which is 3.3 percent of the total employment, this was expected to rise to 7.1 percent in 2018.

Tanzania's tourism sector grew over the past decade by 300 percent, attracting more than one million visitors annually, the majority come for a wildlife safari. The sector employs around one-half million people, and is the country's most significant source of foreign currency.  Yet, tourism is centered mainly in the "northern circuit" of Arusha, Mount Kilimanjaro, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, and the Serengeti as well as Zanzibar.  The Government of Tanzania is focused on developing the country as a multi-center tourism destination.  Diversification and investment, especially in the "Southern Circuit" which include the Ruaha and Selous game reserves, the beaches to the south, and the Katavi area, focused on nature and adventure travel, could result in significantly increased arrivals and revenue.

Wildlife game viewing represents a significant majority of the overall and leisure tourism market in Tanzania and the Government of Tanzania recognizes the opportunity to grow this segment by expanding beyond the northern circuit.  They are targeting 2 million annual visitors by 2025 and have started working with the World Bank on structural reforms that will drive private sector-led growth outside of the northern circuit. Wildlife and habitat management practices in Tanzania are weak, however, and need significant investment and improvement or they will result in a continued deterioration of the wildlife asset on which the majority of the current and future tourism activity depends. 

International tourist arrivals to Tanzania, top 15 source markets, 2016 

Percent 

International tourist arrivals to Tanzania, top 15 source markets, 2016; percent
 
Source: Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics report 2016

Visitors by gender and purpose of visit 2016
                                                                                                                                                                  Percent
 Visitors by gender and purpose of visit 2016; percent
Source: Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics report 2016

Purpose of visit Tanzania Mainland, 2016
 Purpose of visit Tanzania Mainland, 2016
 
Source: Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics report 2016
 
 
Tourism activity and travel arrangement, 2016
 
Tourism activity and travel arrangement, 2016

Source: Tanzania National Bureau of Statistics report 2016
 

Sub-Sector Best Prospects

Investment opportunities in the tourism sector include:
•    Construction and management of hotels, entertainment complexes and restaurants
•    Improvement of airport terminals and shops
•    Infrastructure ventures
•    Training institutions
•    Tour operations
•    Travel agencies
•    Marketing organizations

Opportunities

U.S. companies can compete in the Tanzanian market with strength in customer service and hospitality.  While GOT is scouting for new markets in Russia, China, South Asia, Americans are now the number one visitors to Tanzania, especially in the high-end, low volume market.
 
For specific information on current opportunities the Tanzanian Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism recently released a study on investment opportunities. 

Web Resources

Tanzania Tourism Board
Tanzania Association of Tour Operators
Tanzania National Parks
Tanzania Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism

 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Tanzania Travel and Tourism Trade Development and Promotion