Better days for tourism industry in Tanzania are in the offing, thanks to
the UNWTO Academy for imparting tour operators with the pertinent digital
marketing skills, as part of a joint ambitious strategy to spur the

Dubbed, on-site modules training on tourism digitization for tour
operators’, is the brainchild of two key UN agencies, namely United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) and UNWTO Academy under the auspices of
Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO).

The first UNWTO Academy digital tourism training of its kind for Tanzania
tour operators, covered marketing, online events, e-commerce, sales
optimization, web analytics, business intelligence and customer relationship

In view of the growing importance of tourism in the Tanzanian economy and
the need to develop the necessary digital skills in the subsector, the UNDP
Tanzania has requested UNWTO’s technical assistance in the implementation of
key activities related to building digital capacities of the related
stakeholders to stimulate and accelerate the tourism recovery.

In 2019, the tourism sector was the second largest economic sector
contributing 17 per cent to the national GDP and it was estimated to be the
3rd source of employment, in particular for women, which make up 72 per cent
of all workers in the tourism industry.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Bank estimates that Tanzania’s GDP
growth decelerated to 2.0 per cent in 2020. Tourism business slowed and the
72 per cent drop in the tourism’s revenues in 2020 (from 2019 levels) closed
businesses and caused layoffs.

Zanzibar’s economy was even more severely impacted with GDP growth slowing
to an estimated 1.3 per cent, driven by a collapse of the tourism industry.

While the Zanzibar tourism industry started slowly rebounding in the last
quarter of 2020, with tourist inflows in December 2020 reaching almost 80
per cent of those in 2019, receipts from tourism fell by 38 per cent for the

Considering the impact COVID-19 can have to the tourism industry of
Tanzania, UNWTO has expressed its willingness to assist the country with
capacity building programmes in different topics related to digital
marketing and communication in international tourism.

“Growth of the tourism industry is an attractive sustainable economic
development option for Tanzania with great potential to create jobs and
boost employment. For this to happen the country requires a highly skilled,
qualified and motivated human capital base and the UNWTO Academy is here to
assist the country with capacity building Programmes.” said Dr. Jasmina
Locke on behalf of the UNWTO Academy.

Executive Education Programme Assistant at UNWTO Academy, Tijana Brkic said
that the idea behind the programme is to facilitate seamless travel and
tourism operations through application of digital innovative marketing and
other solutions

“It will also support the packaging of value for money and competitive
tourism products as a way of building back faster and stronger destination”
Brkic said in an exclusive interview.

Equally important, the scheme intends to restore confidence in the source
markets including other travellers depending on the motive of travel, like
either for business, volunteering work, study, amp and research.

“At the end the project wants to restore hope within the local economies
especially those who have lost their jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic”
she explained.

It goes without saying that digital marketing is used by so many businesses
of different industries and has proven its worth in delivering many more
leads to them. And of course, more leads mean more business, and more
business means more profit.

The travel industry in Tanzania is no different and should embrace well to
the realm of the digital world to increase their brands’ awareness and be
able to reach more possible customers as much as they could.

In his keynote address during the onset of an intensive training programme
for a pioneer batch of tour operators TATO CEO, Mr. Sirili Akko conceded
that truly, the digital world flipped the table and made everything so easy
that one can settle things with just a few clicks.

“In the advent of today’s digital age, the importance of Digital Marketing
for businesses has grown and the travel industry cannot afford to let this
opportunity slip away” Mr. Akko said, amid applause from the floor.

By going online, the travel business agencies can now implement different
activities to make them known, reach a lot of people all over the world and
tell them exclusive offers and post ads that will make every person watching
want to head out and start planning for a getaway.

“Sincerely, the influence of Digital Marketing transcends borders which
allowed the travel sector to entice people from all over the world to the
different places they can visit” Mr. Akko explained, adding: “TATO is so
grateful to the two UN Agencies of UNDP and UNWTO Academy for their
incredible training for Tanzania tour operators”.

UNDP Country Representative, Ms Christine Musisi said: “As the UN Secretary
General, Antonio Gutteres says the world can and must harness the power of
tourism as we strive to carry out the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable
Development. UNDP reiterates its support on tourism issues ensuring digital
tourism is enhanced by imparting knowledge to tourism stakeholders so as to
accelerate tourism recovery”.

Tourism is an important driver of economic growth and development, with
significant impact on job creation, investment, development of
infrastructure, and the promotion of social inclusion.

Tourism offers Tanzania the long-term potential to create good jobs,
generate foreign exchange earnings, provide revenue to support the
preservation and maintenance of natural and cultural heritage, and expand
the tax base to finance development expenditures and poverty-reduction