DODOMA, TANZANIA,The number of tourists visiting Tanzania has increased from 867,994 in 2011 to 1,284,279 in 2016, boosting earnings from the sector to more than 2.21 billion US dollars from 1.33 billion USD over the period under review, says Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism Professor Jumanne Maghembe.
The government also collected 5.6 billion shillings (about 2.5 million USD) in 2016/17 as tourism levy from 4.1 billion shillings in 2015/16, a 36 per cent increase, the minister added when presenting his ministry's 2017/17 Budget estimates here Wednesday.
Prof. Maghembe, who said the number of tourists staying in hotels rose from 753,818 in 2011 to 1,145,934 last year, attributed the increase in tourist numbers to the growing number of cultural tourist projects from 60 in 2015 to 65 in 2017.
Referring to the fight against poaching, the minister said State agencies conducted 349,102 patrols, with more than 7,000 suspects arrested. During the patrols, a total of 129 elephant tusks and 95 pieces weighing 810 kilogrammes were seized.
Available evidence shows that 48 military weapons, 1,058 bullets, 22,307 traditional weapons, 189 boda-boda (tricycles), 20 vehicles and 79,831 head of cattle were seized during the patrols, he added.
The Chairman of Parliamentary Committee for Land, Natural Resources and Tourism Engineer, Atashasta Nditiye urged the government to conduct research on the impact of Value Added Tax imposed on tourism services. The committee also called on the government to come up with new modern strategies of combating poaching.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK