KARIBU MAISHANI

KARIBU MAISHANI

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Kentan tour operators have been advised to establish partnership with their Tanzanian counterparts so as to promote and sustain East African cooperati


By Mark Msoke, Moshi

Kentan tour operators have been advised to establish partnership with their Tanzanian counterparts so as to promote and sustain East African cooperation spirit.

Several tour operators in Moshi were of the view that tour operators in the region should be given freedom to exploit tourist attractions available in the two East African states and provide correct publicity of what was in each country to avoid misleading visitors.
The managing director of Tran-Kibo Travels Limited, Mr Thomas Lyimo told The Citizen that if the arrangement become operational, each country would benefit from statutory levies that will be paid to governments.

He also advised Tanzanian tour operators to emulate their Kenyan counterparts who were categorised in accordance with certain activities they were versed in,

“People should major in certain tourist activity to make their respective companies to earn sufficient income that will improve their remunerations and also become competent in that area,” Mr Lyimo said.

Meanwhile, tour guides were becoming such a big burden in the northern circuit that some tour operators were finding it hard to meet their business plans and commitments, an eventuality that has disrupted their yearly budget proposals.

The government has been requested to pay salaries tour guides to reduce the burden the registered tour operators have been bearing in meeting running costs.

In an interview with The Citizen yesterday, the managing director of R2R (Reef to Roof) Adventure, Mr Deus Tesha said in principle, tour guides should be in the pay roll of the Tanzania National Parks (Tanapa) but in practice their salaries are paid by tour operators for reasons yet to be established.

R2R, which was registered last month with double objectives of boosting Moshi economy and create jobs, is facing a number of challenges that include hiked park fees imposed by unregistered tour companies, a move that has discouraged many tourists from visiting Tanzania.

According to Mr Tesha, normal park fees for six days is $633 but unregistered tour operators charge $750, wondering how such operators keep on surviving with such little balance of money which was insufficient to cover overhead costs.

“Such unregistered tour companies must be indulging themselves in some mischief or dirty game to keep them surviving,” he suspected.

He mentioned ‘flycatchers’ or ‘briefcase tour operators’ as another challenge facing the tourism industry in the northern circuit, saying some have infiltrate the industry in sheep's skin while they are wolves.

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