Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) and Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) have forged a partnership to inculcate conservation values to the youth, as TATO seeks to payback to the community and nature, as part of its 40 years anniversary.
Founded in 1983, TATO has witnessed tourism development and tourist streams in the country surged from 54,000 tourists in 1983 to 1.5 million in 2022, with the foreign currency earnings rising from $12.8 million in 1983 to $2.5 billion in 2022.
Kicking off a first out of 40 planned events, as part of celebrating an incredible journey of 40 years, TATO announced to work with JGI’s Roots and Shoots project that seek to nurture young people to affect positive change on conservation drive in their communities.
TATO Chairman, Mr Wilbard Chambulo made a commitment before the World-renowned ethologist and conservationist Dr. Jane Goodall, who graced a flag off of the 40 years anniversary of the flamboyant advocacy agency with 300 plus members in the country’s northern safari capital of Arusha, over the weekend.
“As the first beneficiaries of the conservation efforts, we are going to work with JGI’s Roots and Shoots project to instill youth with conservation values across the country, as TATO turns 40 this year” Mr. Chambulo declared, amid applause from the tour operators gathered at Four Points by Sheraton, the Arusha Hotel, in Arusha.
Mr. Chambulo said an authoritative advocacy agency for the multi-billion-dollars tourism industry, TATO, is proud to be a driving force in fostering tourism business to flourish, as it turns 40 this year.
“With its members controlling 80 percent of Tanzania’s tourism market share, TATO is a leading advocacy agency for the tourism industry that earns $2.5 billion per year for the economy, equivalent to 17 percent of the country’s GDP” said TATO CEO, Mr. Sirili Akko.
Mr. Akko explained that TATO also plays a critical role in connecting businesses and individuals within the tourism to facilitate knowledge sharing, best practices, trade and networking along the industry value chain.
“The business association has initiated a ‘most ambitious’ plan with an objective to help local entrepreneurs launch and grow their businesses respectfully and responsibly” he noted.
TATO, under Chambulo’s leadership, has successfully managed to support 17 startups and counting to navigate through the intricate and costly process of formalising their tourism businesses, as part of his painstaking efforts to create new employers and taxpayers.
TATO is also one of the pioneers of an extensive anti-poaching programme designed to protect the priceless wildlife heritage into Africa’s wild animals-richest national park of Serengeti.
De-snaring Progamme, the first of its kind, bankrolled by TATO members and other investors in Serengeti under Chambulo’s stewardship, implemented by the Frankfurt Zoological Society in collaboration with the Tanzania National Parks, is designed to remove the widespread snares set by local bush meat mongers to trap mass wildlife within the Serengeti and beyond.
The once poverty-driven subsistence poaching has slowly, but surely, graduated into large-scale and commercial undertaking, putting Tanzania’s flagship national park of Serengeti under renewed pressure after a brief stint of a lull.
The ongoing Serengeti De-Snaring Program has successfully removed thousands of snares and released hundreds of trapped animals in his initiative to promote responsible tourism and protect the sacred landscape of the Serengeti.
Dr. Jane Goodall expressed her gratitude to TATO for unanimously decision to partner with JGI’s Roots and Shoots project to impart conservation education on future leaders.
“It was worth coming here,” said Dr. Goodall, shortly after TATO announcement to collaborate with JGI’s Roots and Shoots project.
The founder of JGI pleaded with the tour operators to educated tourists on the importance of supporting conservation drive and more so to respect wild animals.
“I’ve seen many changes in Tanzania compared to when I set foot in the first time. The difference between then and now is impossible to explain. Nature is so kind, lets not hurt it to the extent of retaliating” Dr. Goodall told the TATO members.
She was also of the view that Tour operators should consider supporting rural communities who have nothing than natural resources to eke a living, if they’re to stop utilizing the nature unsustainably.
Dr. Goodall is a passionate road warrior, traveling nearly 300 days each year on a worldwide speaking tour to raise awareness, inspire change, and encourage each individual to do his or her part in making the world a better place.
Jane’s love for animals started at a young age and in July of 1960, at the age of 26, she followed her dreams and travelled from England to what is now known as Tanzania, to bravely enter the little-known world of wild chimpanzees.
She was equipped with nothing more than a notebook and a pair of binoculars, but with her unyielding patience and optimism, she won the trust of the Gombe chimpanzees, and opened a window into their lives for all to see.
Jane’s studies has taught humanity one of the most important lessons – that we humans are not the only beings on this planet with personalities, minds capable of thinking and above all, emotions.Her findings shook the scientific community and made the world re-evaluate what it means to be human.