The government is exploring ways for optimum use of beaches potential to boost tourism which relies primarily on wildlife resources as the major attraction.
The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Dr Hamisi Kigwangalla, told reporters over the weekend that the government is in the process of establishing a beach management authority to improve beach tourism.
He said the beach management authority will manage and improve all beaches to attract more tourists and investors.
The government has decided to come up with strong strategies in order to efficiently explore available opportunities in beach tourism to boost the national economy, he said.
Located on the eastern coast of Africa, Tanzania has an Indian Ocean coastline approximately of 1,424 kilometres (885 mi) long.
According to a Coastal Tourism Situation Analysis of 2011, the coastline is home to many excellent natural and cultural resources that have the potential to serve as world-class tourist attractions.
In general, however, this potential has gone unrealised as the tourism industry has been relying primarily on wildlife resources as the major attraction, with up to 90 per cent of all tourists taking part in wildlife safaris or hunting.
The minister said currently beach tourism was doing much better in Zanzibar than on mainland Tanzania.
A report released in June 2017 rated Tanzania’s tourism industry as one of the fastest growing sectors in the country with figures showing a surge on tourist arrivals.
The 2016 International Visitors’ Exit Survey Report indicated that the number of tourists who visited the country continued to rise.
The report was jointly compiled by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, the Bank of Tanzania, the National Bureau of Statistics, the Immigration Department and the Zanzibar Commission for Tourism.
The report showed that Tanzania hosted at least 1.2 million tourists in 2016, compared to 1.1 million in 2015, which was an increase of 12 per cent.
The report showed revenues from the tourism industry have been increasing year after year with 2.1 billion US dollars in 2016 against 1.9 billion dollars in 2015.
Tourism has been Tanzania’s largest foreign exchange earner since 2012, contributing an average of 2 billion dollars annually, which is equivalent to 25 per cent of all exchange earnings, according to government data.