TOURISM sector is an important sector that has an impact on development of country economy. The main benefits of tourism are income creation and generation of jobs. In Tanzania the sector is leading in bringing foreign currencies.
According to Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) the industry brings home 2.05bn/- US dollars annually (over 4trl/-), which is equivalent to 17.2 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Tanzania has dedicated nearly 30 per cent of its surface area of 945,203 square kilometers to wildlife conservation, an area bigger than German country, thanks to late Mwalimu Nyerere’s insight.
Recently, the former Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Prof Jumanne Maghembe assured the public that Tanzania expects to receive 3million tourists by next year. As tourism stakeholders set both long term and short term strategies to attract tourists, the government has come up with a brilliant idea, which is to register and approve all tour guides in the country.
The registration, which is in accordance to Tourism Act No 29 of 2008 aims at ensuring efficiency and proper management of the tourism sector. Yes, it is indeed important to conduct the registration exercise among tour guides across the country since they play a big role in handling tourists.
The duty and responsibility of a tour guide include all activities related to the tourist activities started from tourist arrival to a country, tour activities until departure activities. This alone shows the importance of tour guide in developing, promoting and maintaining tourism sector in the country.
A tour guide has great roles in developing tourism in any scale either in regional or national. A tour guide has duty to inform about tourist objects and any point of interest in certain regions which spread out in whole country.
In this case, he/she is also as a front liner in developing tourism who is expected to give the best services to the tourists so that they feel satisfied and willing to come back to this tourist object in other time.
Since a tour guide is a close person to tourists, registration, approval and offer of identification is very crucial to get rid of unworthy and unethical tour guides, who are currently working in the tourism fields.
According to the Deputy Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Japhet Hasunga the registration and approval of tour guides exercise will go along with offering of training at the Wildlife Management Institute, set to commence next month.
This must sound as good news to tour guides, tour operators and all other stakeholders. It is through such trainings tour guides will improve their knowledge and skills of handling tourists. As the country targets to receive 3 million tourists, it is obvious such kinds of trainings are inevitable.