Saturday 24th June, 2017
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Tanzania tourist arrivals rise 10.4% in 10 months

Tanzania tourist arrivals rise 10.4% in 10 months

The number of tourists visiting Tanzania rose 10.4 percent in the 10 months to October compared with the same period last year, the finance and planning min­istry said on Friday, despite higher prices for some attrac­tions.

Tourism is the main source of foreign currency in Tanza­nia, best known for its beach­es, safaris and Mount Kili­manjaro.

As part of an initiative to boost revenue, the govern­ment lifted an 18-percent VAT exemption in July on some tourist attractions, including wildlife park entry.

Tour operators had op­posed the tax, saying it would stifle the tourism sector which employs more than 500,000 people.

However, arrivals increased to 1,020,816 in the most re­cent period, according to the ministry of finance and plan­ning.

Tanzania made $2.23 bil­lion in 2015 from 1.1 million tourist arrivals, a slight de­crease from 1.14 million ar­rivals in 2014.

“Claims that tourists have run away from Tanzania be­cause of the introduction of value added tax (VAT) on some tourism services are without merit,” the ministry said in a report.

Last month, Tanzanian president John Magufuli an­nounced plans to revamp the cash-strapped national carri­er in a bid to boost the tourism and transport sectors, aiming to double annual foreign visi­tor arrivals.