Tanzania’s Royal Tour film content, its strategic premiere USA market and timing have started paying dividends in terms of commanding significant traffic of tourists.
Produced by Peter Greenberg, the maiden film featuring President Samia Suluhu Hassan, as his key guide—showcasing Tanzania’s rich cultural, wildlife heritage and array of investment opportunities through her leadership eye, was launched in New York, U.S on April 18, 2022.
What makes the “Royal tour” series different from most tourism-related programing is that, aside from presenting an informal and personal side of a leader, it presents a 360-degree view of a Tanzania, the home of number one Safari destination in the World, housing four of the most coveted adventure hotspots on earth: the Serengeti, Mount Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar, and Ngorongoro Crater compounded by the kind hearted people of Tanzania.
Two months after the President Samia launched the film in the American market, a digital safari-marketing platform selling the East African region based in Copenhagen in Denmark, says it has recorded massive travel booking enquiries from USA, English speaking and Scandinavian countries.
“For just two months our subscribers have recorded a total 6,405 safari booking enquiries mostly from USA, English speaking and Scandinavian countries, all craving for Tanzania destination, up from merely 241, a month before the Royal Tour Film debut, a clear signal that the series has a far-reaching impact in stimulating tourism industry” said the Managing Director of the East Africa Travel Deals, Mr. Mikael Morlandee.
New booking enquiries aside, Mr. Morlandee said that there’s a substantial number of tourists who had confirmed their travel in the other African destinations two years back, however, owing to the film are changing their minds and now they want Tanzania.
“Much as I can’t disclose every detail because of business reasons, but I can assure you that Tanzania is going to witness an unprecedented influx of tourists from the end of June onwards. A substantial number of prior confirmed bookings are now cancelling massively in favor of the Tanzania destination” Mr. Morlandee noted.
Indeed, the key destination marketing executives in the USA are upbeat, saying that the Tanzania Royal tour film is the right shot at the right moment and will spur tourism industry more than ever before, as it is an eye opener for majority outdoor enthusiasts in their vast country.
“Americans are extremely eager to get back out into the world once again and Tanzania is uniquely positioned to offer them world-class nature and wildlife experiences that are authentically experiential in a way no other destination can offer,” said Mr. David DiGregorio Managing Director CornerSun Destination Marketing LLC in New York City.
Mr. DiGregorio whose firm was in 2021 engaged by Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), thanks to UNDP support, to promote Tanzania across the northern America said as the home of the Great Migration, Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti and Zanzibar, there’s no doubt that Tanzania is and will continue to be in high-demand with American travelers eager to take their first long-haul post-COVID adventure.
For her part, the Association of Black Travel Professionals (ABTP) CEO, Ms Shawnta Harrison said the Tanzania Royal Tour film has moved the majority of African-American travellers who are planning their holiday elsewhere in Africa and the Caribbean.
“Now were working with TATO as part of out agreement to see how we can develop the new tourism product, probably to be named as discover the ancestors roots in order to tape the potential market as we believe with the Royal tour film majority are excited to come and explore their descendant’s culture” MS Harrison explained.
She added: “I’m very grateful to have a fruitful meeting with the TATO delegation on the eve of the Royal tour film premiere here in America. We are committed to redirect our traffic to Tanzania in collaboration with TATO ”.
Back home, the tourism players are busy rolling out a red carpet, refurbishing tourist vans, and renovating hotels as part of grand preparation to welcome the imminent influx of tourists.
Immediate former Natural Resources and Tourism Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Dr. Francis Michael who engaged the key players in northern circuit to ascertain the preparedness late may, 2022 said that from mid-June the accommodation facilities are fully booked.
“All hotels are fully booked. This is what the accommodation facilities proprietors have told me during our series of meetings in Arusha” Dr. Michael said.
“Royal tour film is an apt branding strategy that will go a long way in stimulating tourism, thus putting the Country into a better position to achieve its five million visitors target by 2025” Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO)’s CEO, Mr. Sirili Akko noted.
Mr Akko who attended the premiere of the film in the U.S said that the choice of the debut country and timing were extremely imperative and would play an important role in rebooting the tourism industry hobbled by a brutal wave of Coronavirus.
He said the industry looks forward to the continuing commitment of the government in creating a conducive environment for the private sector to play its role so that the country can reach the target of five million tourists per annum within a timeframe.
During the premiere of the documentary, President Samia took the liberty to assure millions of potential tourists once again that Tanzania is the best place to spend their vacation, “We are very friendly. You will never regret visiting,” she added.
President Samia, who visited the US for business and diplomatic intentions, used the launch of the Royal Tour documentary to promote and improve the marketing of Tanzania’s tourism to the world.
The Royal Tour film is to be spread for viewing on multiple platforms in America—a strategic move to spread awareness and promote tourism digitally.
By the end of the presentation, it’s likely that viewers’ interest in visiting the country will be higher than before they had watched it.
Even Tanzania’s familiar aspects are enhanced because everything is shown from the personal perspective of the country’s leader.
“The Royal tour film is part of our ambitious commitment as the ruling Chama cha Mapinduzi (CCM) through our general elections manifesto of spurring tourism industry to grow by leaps and bounds to create meaningful employment and leapfrog other economic sectors” said the National CCM youth wing leader, Mr Kenan Kihongosi, adding:
“The CCM manifesto clearly stipulates that tourism will attract five million tourists who will leave behind nearly $6.6 billion by 2025 with expected real multiplier effects to a critical mass of common folks in Tanzania, particularly women and youth”.
Indeed, holidays in Tanzania are paradise, as the country fascinates with its wealth of nature and its diverse animal world.
TATO chairman, Mr. Wilbard Chambulo who led a high-profile delegation to USA to support the President Samia in the film debut, said the tourism industry welcomes the Royal Tour film with open hands and he commended the timing.
TATO boss added: “The royal tour film means to open-up endless opportunities not only for our tourism value chain, but the entire economy as the film will market Tanzania investment destinations to the global scene”.
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” Mr. Chambulo said.
A hike up Africa’s highest mountain is rightly on the bucket list of many nature and trekking lovers.
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, he explained, adding that tourists should come to Zanzibar, to experience the tropical beauty.
“Its 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”, Mr. Chambulo explained.
Dar es Salam, the gateway to southern Tanzania, is the bustling metropolis located on the country’s mainland coast, which is hardly developed for tourism.
“Not far from the city you will find secluded beaches with oriental flair. The island dream of Zanzibar is just a stone’s throw away and the national parks in the south of Tanzania can be easily explored from here”, TATO chief concluded.
Many Americans associate Tanzania with safaris and, perhaps, Mount Kilimanjaro, but the first half of “The Royal Tour” explores parts of Tanzania that expand viewers’ understanding of the country.