Arusha — Results from a recently conducted animal census in Tanzania’s national parks is promising, Lazaro Nyalandu, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, has disclosed.
Nyalandu said last week, the improved numbers is due to ongoing anti-poaching efforts. He made the remarks while addressing a flag-off event of this year’s participants of ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin) the world’s largest International Trade Fair.
“We have seen our anti-poaching efforts bearing positive results,” the Minister said. This has been achieved by increasing the number of game rangers to patrol the country’s extensive stretch of national parks and game reserves. They are also better equipped. We still need to increase the numbers of our game rangers. We are very grateful for the partnership that the German Embassy has given us especially their contribution in the Selous National Park,” Nyalandu said at an event attended by the German diplomats in Dar es Salaam.
He went on to recognize the long standing trade and cultural relations that the two countries enjoy and pledged continued cooperation.
Over 100 Tanzanian private firms and government agencies participated in the IBT Berlin tourism fair which ended yesterday.
Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) Marketing Manager Geoffrey Meena said Tanzania is promoting its attractions under the banner of its current campaign ‘Tanzania: Africa’s Best Safari Country’ and ‘Tanzania, The land of Kilimanjaro, Zanzibar and the Serengeti’.
He said the Tanzanian team will also promote the three attractions that were selected among the ‘Seventh Natural Wonders of the Africa’ in 2013. These are the Serengeti and Kilimanjaro including Ngorongoro crater.
Meena said, “The Fair is not only about meeting traders and selling tour packages or sharing expertise in the field but it’s also about learning new strategies and technological business trends.”
Tanzania has participated in the IBT Berlin for 19 years and its impact can be felt in the increase number of German tourists. Germany is led by Italy, US and the UK in terms of number of visits to Tanzania per year.
However, it is estimated that the number of German tourists visiting Tanzania has almost doubled (47 per cent) in the last two years from 36,626 in 2012 to 53,951 last year.
Meanwhile, the world’s national parks and nature reserves receive around eight billion visits every year, according to the first study into the global scale of nature-based tourism in protected areas.
The paper, by researchers in Cambridge, UK, Princeton, New Jersey, and Washington, DC, published in the open access journal PLOS Biology, is the first global-scale attempt to answer the question of how many visits protected areas receive, and what they might be worth in terms of tourist dollars.
The authors of the study say that this number of visits could generate as much as $600 billion of tourism expenditure annually – a huge economic benefit which vastly exceeds the less than $10 billion spent safeguarding these sites each year.
Scientists and conservation experts describe current global expenditure on protected areas as ‘grossly insufficient’, and have called for greatly increased investment in the maintenance and expansion of protected areas – a move which this study shows would yield substantial economic return – as well as saving incalculably precious natural landscapes and species from destruction.
Visit rates were highest in North America, where protected areas receive a combined total of over three billion visits a year, and lowest in Africa, where many countries have less than 100,000 protected area visits annually.
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area near San Francisco had the highest recorded visit rate in the database with an annual average of 13.7 million visits, closely followed by the UK’s Lake District and Peak District National Parks, with 10.5million and 10.1million.
By contrast, Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park got an annual average during the study period of 148,000 visits.
Dr Andrea Manica, a corresponding author also at Cambridge, says these are ballpark estimates based on limited data, so the researchers have been careful not to overstate the case: “These are conservative calculations. Visit rates are likely to be higher than eight billion a year, and there’s no doubt we are talking about hundreds of billions of tourism dollars a year,” he said.