Tanzanian tourism experts have warned that their sector in the country would be affected by the ongoing financial crisis severely in 2009 when tourist arrivals and tourism earnings would both decline, by between 10 and 30 percent.
Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete has warned in his end-of- year address to the nation given late last week that tourism earnings for last year had already declined by 18 percent.
Tourism has been a fast growing boom industry in Tanzania where tourism has become the number one foreign currency earner with an annual revenue of 1 billion U.S. dollars to contribute toward the country’s gross domestic product currently valued at 19 billion dollars.
The root cause for the projected decline in the tourism sector lies in the United States and western Europe where the credit crisis has originated and has been emptying the purses of potential tourists.
The Tanzania Tourist Board has projected earlier that the country would attract between 750,000 and 800,000 foreign tourists in 2008 and earn some 1.2 billion dollars.
The same board has also projected for 2009 in which the country would draw 950,000 foreign tourists and earn 1.35 billion dollars.