World Bank approves 150-mln-USD credit for Tanzania’s tourism

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 4 — The World Bank has approved a
150-million-U.S.-dollar credit for development of nature-based tourism in
southern Tanzania, a statement by the Bank said on Monday.

The statement said the credit was approved by the International Development
Association, the arm of the World Bank Group that works in the world’s
poorest countries, through the Resilient Natural Resource Management for
Tourism and Growth Project (REGROW). REGROW’s development objective is to
improve the management of natural resources and tourism assets in priority
areas of southern Tanzania, and to increase access to alternative
livelihood activities for targeted communities, said the statement. The
project will also focus on reducing human-wildlife conflicts and
strengthening resilience to climate vulnerability and change, and
contribute towards safeguarding water flows from the Great Ruaha River into
the Ruaha National Park.

REGROW will promote investments inside fourh protected areas, considered to
be catalytic for the consolidation of the southern tourism circuit that
covers 75,446 square kilometers, said the statement. “Tourism is a key
element of Tanzania’s economy, contributing to roughly 10 percent of GDP in
2015,” said Bella Bird, the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania,
Malawi, Somalia and Burundi. She said Tanzania was endowed with world
renowned biodiversity and wildlife attractions, but most people tend to be
familiar with just its northern circuit. “The assets of the southern
circuit can increase the number of tourists arriving to the country, thus
increasing economic benefits and promoting wildlife conservation. For this
to happen, infrastructure and services need to be improved, and the
destination needs to be further promoted to potential visitors,” said Bird.
Apart from being a major source of revenue for the government, the tourism
sector also provides well-remunerated direct employment to over 400,000
Tanzanians. – XINHUA