DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania – The World Bank has said Tanzania’s tourism revenues could bulge four times from $4.48 billion in 2013 to $16 billion annually by 2025 if share benefits from the industry are equitably and evenly distributed to local participation but with quality. Tourism is already a major contributor to Tanzania’s economy, however, as the latest Tanzania Economic Update published by the World Bank argues, this strategic industry can grow and create more high-paying jobs, and closer linkages with businesses and local communities.

Jacques Morisset, the World Bank Lead Economist said tourism is considered to be a high priority under President Jakaya Kikwete’s development agenda, as well as that of the National Business Council. He said the industry goal is to multiply revenue from tourism eight fold by 2025 or to double the sector’s annual growth rate observed in recent years. “This target is indeed achievable but only if there is a change in policies and mindsets among all stakeholders,” said Morisset, author of the 6th Tanzania Economic Update report: “Unlocking the potential of the tourism industry for Tanzanians”.

“To realize this opportunity, the government should simplify its system of taxes and fees and make its revenue allocations more transparent as there is no doubt Tanzania is in a good place with tourism and yet could do considerably better well recognized internationally,” Philippe Dongier, the Country Director for Tanzania, Burundi and Uganda said last week. Dongier said the country received one million visitors in 2013 bringing in $1.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings. He said this is remarkable by any account. But there is potential for further growth after some much needed reforms are implemented.

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Tanzania Tourist Board