Tourists visited the southern highlands based Ruaha National Park (RUNAPA) in Iringa region increased to 13,000 during financial year 2021/2022 from 9,000 during 2020/2021.
The Ruaha National Park Tourism Officer Aimna Salum said this when briefing journalists from various media organization in Iringa who visited the park recently.
The tourism officer attributed the increase in visitors to the park unique attractions as well as the promotional Royal Tour movie, initiated by President Samia Suluhu Hassan.
Salum said Tanzania has now opened up its borders since the Covid-19 pandemic, which has boosted foreign tourist arrivals in different tourist attractions, and Ruaha in particular.
“During the coronavirus pandemic, many campsites were closed, it was quiet because there were no foreign visitors, we were getting local visitors,” she explained.
The Ruaha National Park has a size of more than 20,000 square kilometers, being the second largest in the country, compared to the Julius Nyerere National Park, which is the largest.
Ruaha National Park has a total of 13 investors who have invested in tent camps, lodges and temporary camps with a total of 296 beds.
Assistant Conservation Commissioner and Head of RUNAPA Park, Godwell Ole Meng’ataki said that their strengthened collaboration with the media will stimulate the increase in domestic and foreign tourists, a step that will help to stimulate government revenue collection and stimulate economic growth.
Meng’ataki said such visit would bring productivity in the tourism sector by informing the public about the importance of visiting tourist attractions that exist in various parks in the country and their benefits to the economy.
He said that the media visit should be a springboard to strengthen cooperation between conservationists and journalists with the aim of creating a joint strategy in promoting the attractions available in the national game parks in Tanzania, especially those found in the Ruaha National Park which is the second largest.
Meng’ataki noted that visitors to the Ruaha will have the opportunity to see soe of the unique attractions including lions living in families (prides), other animals of various species, more than 574 types of birds, and more than 1650 types of plants found in the park.
Meng’ataki said there are various types of tourism activities at Ruaha including trekking, night tourism, boat ridding and sport fishing, stressing that those types of unique tourism if fully advertised will stimulate the increase of tourists in the park.
Speaking about the impact Royal Tour Film, of which President Samia Suluhu Hassan participated, he said has great contribution in promoting Tanzania to the world, which will stimulate the sector growth.
The Chairman of the Iringa Region Press Club (IPC) Frank Leonard said that Iringa journalists recognize the contribution of tourism to the development of the nation.
He said the visit to Ruaha national park was to motivate the sector through domestic tourism. .
Leonard said that journalists have a great influence to ensure that they convince other citizens to visit Ruaha National Park and other parks across the country.
The Iringa District Commissioner Mohamed Hassan Moyo has said that the World Bank through Regrow project has already provided funds to repair the existing Iringa road to Msembe to improve infrastructure towards Ruaha National Park.
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