The government has directed the new board of directors for the Tanzania Tourists Board (TTB) to attract three million tourists by 2018.
This is far beyond what is stipulated in the ruling party's 2015 election manifesto which requires the number of tourists to reach two million by the year 2020.
Currently, the country attracts roughly one million tourists annually. It has taken the country almost 10 years to increase the number from roughly 500,000 to the current level.
Besides, TTB has been receiving less than half - and sometimes even a quarter - of its small budget that is being endorsed for promotional activities each year.
But inaugurating the new TTB board of directors here yesterday, the minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Jumanne Maghembe, said the country has many tourist attractions and thus he finds no reason why numbers should not rise.
He called upon TTB to work closely with the private sector, including those who own hotels, vehicles and airline operators.
"You have a tought task to do but it will be simple if you work closely with other tourism stakeholders," he said.
This also comes at a time when the government has stuck to its guns over a plea from local and international tour operators to have the former revive a decision to charge an 18 per cent value added tax on tourism services.
Source: The Citizen.