Maasai people sing a song during the opening ceremony of the 6th edition of the Swahili International Tourism Expo in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Oct. 22, 2022. (Photo by Herman Emmanuel/Xinhua)

DAR ES SALAAM — Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango on Saturday officially opened the 6th edition of the Swahili International Tourism Expo and pledged the government’s continued improvement of the country’s infrastructure of tourism services.

In addition, Mpango said the government has since 2020 been working to align infrastructures and providing incentives to attract investment in tourism.

“We are also vigorously promoting other unpopular touristic attractions especially in the southern corridor of our country, including Mikumi, Ruaha, Julius Nyerere and Udzungwa National Parks which we believe also have a great potential to boost this sector to new heights,” he said in Dar es Salaam, the commercial capital of Tanzania. 

He said achievements recorded in the pre-COVID-19 pandemic period and the recent recovery are a clear testimony of joint efforts made by the government and the private sector to boost the development of the tourism sector.

“The government recognizes the importance of private sector as the driver and engine of the tourism sector and over the years, we have been taking a number of legal and fiscal reforms to support growth of the sector,” said Mpango.

Tanzanian Vice President Philip Mpango speaks during the opening ceremony of the 6th edition of the Swahili International Tourism Expo in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Oct. 22, 2022. (Photo by Herman Emmanuel/Xinhua)

He added that there is a plethora of tourism investment opportunities including the construction of hotels, lodges, holiday homes, developing amusement parks, sea and lake cruising as well as expanding tour operators and agencies.

Pindi Chana, the minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, said the Swahili International Tourism Expo was established in 2014 to promote Tanzania’s tourist attractions and investment opportunities.

It is a part of the implementation of a tourism marketing strategy to attract tourists to visit destination Tanzania and increase tourism contribution to the country’s economy.

The expo, which started Friday and will end Sunday, is held after a hiatus of two years because of COVID-19.

This year’s expo feature business exhibitions, investment forums and seminars, speed-networking sessions, cultural performances, and familiarization trips to unique tourist attractions across Tanzania.

It is being attended by more than 200 domestic and overseas exhibitors, over 100 international buyers from within and outside Africa, and more than 5,000 trade visitors.

Chana said the expo has attracted stakeholders in the tourism industry from countries including China, Indonesia, India, the United Kingdom, Oman, Mozambique, Malawi, Algeria and Zimbabwe.  – Xinhua