TANZANIA (eTN) – Ahead of the forthcoming Africa Hotels Investment Forum (AHIF) in Nairobi next month, Tanzania is in big demand for more investors in hotel and accommodation facilities to match with the growing number of tourists visiting its premier attractions.
Comparing to neighboring Kenya, Tanzania lacks behind in hotel investments with 174 registered and licensed tourist class hotels, offering 11,568 rooms. Tanzanian Deputy Tourism Minister Lazaro Nyalandu said more investments in accommodation establishments are highly encouraged to pull more tourists.
Hotel investment in Tanzania has been moving at a snail’s pace, derailing tourism development in terms of visitor arrivals. Mr. Nyalandu had agreed that Tanzania is facing a shortage of tourism rooms in key tourist sites, towns, and the capital city of Dar es Salaam. Further, bureaucracy in processing investors’ licenses and other business documents is slowing the process down.
Dar es Salaam leads in accommodation facility investments, mostly big hotels of international standards, including Serena Hotel, Southern Sun, Hyatt Kilimanjaro Hotel, Peacock Hotel, and Sea Cliff Hotel.
The northern tourist city of Arusha has been developed with 91 hotel investments, including the leading Impala Chain, which manages Impala Hotel, Naura Springs, and the prestigious Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge on the middle of Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru.
The Kilimanjaro region, famous for Mount Kilimanjaro and home of Tanzania’s Arabica coffee, has been developed with 38 high-class tourist hotels and lodges, including Kilemakyaro Mountain Lodge, Mountain Inn (Shah Tours), and Nakara Hotels.
The rest of Tanzania, excluding the Indian Ocean Island of Zanzibar, remains with little or negligible hotel investments.
The opposition camp in the parliament of Tanzania wanted the sitting government to empower local investors looking for hotel and accommodation development. The leader of the opposition camp in the tourism industry, Pastor Peter Msigwa, castigated the weaknesses existing in Tanzanian government in developing tourism, by looking at serious issues hampering this industry.
Msigwa said local investors in hotel and accommodation establishments have been frustrated by licensing authorities for no specific reasons. He said Tanzania had failed to encourage hotel investors, both local and foreign stakeholders with appropriate considerations, a situation which raised complaints from investing companies, driving them out to other African destinations.
In their tourism sector debate, members of the parliament of Tanzania wanted the government in power to encourage and attract more hotel investments as the only option to pull more tourists to this African safari destination.
The Tanzania Tourist Board has been marketing Tanzania tourism with a thread-bare budget, but has still managed to pull a good number of high-spending tourists into the country, with reports that some tourists had to cancel their visiting plans for lacking hotel rooms when booking a visit to Tanzania. They warned that efforts by the marketing board, Tanzania Tourist Board, would not pull the targeted number of one million tourists this year if the Tanzanian government fails to attract more hotel investors and take seriously hotel investment to be a priority area.
Prominent international hotel owners, investors, financiers, management companies, and their advisers are set to meet in the Kenyan capital city of Nairobi next month to discuss opportunities available in hotel investment in Africa and strategies to overcome the challenges facing hotel industry in this continent. The conference, organized Africa Hotel Investment Forum (AHIF), will be held at the InterContinental Hotel, Nairobi from September 25 to 26 with an agenda that will focus on how to capitalize on long-term investment in hotels in Africa.