More Americans Visiting Tanzania Then Ever – The Oprah Effect?
Exciting news was announced this week in Tanzania with regards to tourist arrivals from the United States. There was a 7 percent increase in tourists arriving into Tanzania from the United States from 2012 (65,110 American tourists) to 2013 (69,671 American tourists). America is now Tanzania’s second largest source of tourism.
Natural Resources and Tourism minister Lazaro S. Nyalandu, noted: “The increase in tourism is due to several factors; the increased flights from the U.S., the greatly improved infrastructure, and Tanzania’s new luxury accommodations which have attracted a growing number of celebrities and Hollywood A-listers like Oprah Winfrey, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.”
Tanzania has showed a steady increase of visitors worldwide over the past five years, having reached its benchmark of 1,000,000 visitors in 2012 for the first time since records have been kept.
Tanzania’s acting Managing Director of the Tanzania Tourist Board, Devota Mdachi noted that “this is also due to the fact that Tanzania, in addition to having three of Africa’s natural wonders of the world, is viewed as a peaceful and stable destination, rich in history and cultural diversity”
Presently Tanzania is the largest country in East Africa, focused on wildlife conservation and sustainable tourism, with approximately 28 percent of the land protected by the government, the largest percentage of any country in the world. It boasts of 16 national parks and 32 game reserves, 50 game controlled areas, one special conservation area (the Ngorongoro) and three marine parks.
It is home to the tallest mountain in Africa, the legendary Mt Kilimanjaro, the Serengeti, home to the “Great Animal Migration” that was named the New 7th Wonder of the World, by US Today and ABC TV’s Good Morning America; the world acclaimed Ngorongoro Crater, often referred to as the “Eden of Africa” and the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, Olduvai Gorge, the cradle of mankind:
Most important for visitors, the Tanzanian people, with a rich history and diverse blend of cultures, are warm and friendly. Tanzania is regarded as an oasis of peace and stability with a democratically elected and stable government.