Larry Brain - Sep 16, 2008

Africa, as experts agree, has a huge tourism potential. It may offer wonderful cultural experience as well as wildlife and scenic beauties. It is estimated that Sub-Saharan Africa has the potential to generate up to $100 billion every year. Nevertheless, Africans need to take steps to make the lucrative industry work for them.


Africa needs to improve its transport as well as tourism infrastructure. It needs more hotel rooms as well as better conservation policy to fully exploit its tourism potential.


Last year the global tourism industry provided jobs for 233 million people. Sub-Saharan Africa could use the industry to provide needed job to its people. To achieve all of that they need one thing more than others, they need money. It is vital for the continent to lure investors who would help to boost the tourism industry. Currently, the demand for capital in Africa exceeds the supply.


For many nations tourism industry is a vital source of foreign exchange. This is the case of Tanzania. Tourism industry earns approximately $1 billion here and its highly important foreign exchange earner as well as GDP contributor. Tanzania is benefiting from its promotion in North America. Nevertheless, experts suggest, the Tanzanian tourism industry needs diversification. Currently Tanzanians promote mainly national parks tourism. Malcom Ryen, the chief ecologist of Coastal Travel Ltd (CTL) thinks the government should support also other forms of tourism. He suggested possibility to sell beach houses on more than 900 km of Tanzanian coastline. According to him tourism activities like snorkeling or surfing is also not exploited enough.


The country may also become an interesting destination for the MICE (Meeting, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibition) sector. That is because an ultra-modern conference centre is currently under construction in the city of Dar es Salaam. The new centre will have seating capacity for 2,000 people and local officials hope it will provide important economic boost.

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