Tanzania is emerging as an African leader in the rapidly growing meetings, conferences and events industry. Tanzania's growth within the business tourism sector has been driven by growing international recognition of a tourism industry second to none in terms of diversity and quality of experiences. As younger business travellers and entrepreneurs increasingly look to combine business and leisure travel, Tanzania is moving to ensure the connectivity and infrastructure is in place to welcome growing numbers of African business travellers. Arusha International Conference Centre CEO Elishilia D. Kaaya revealed the ambitious plans in an interview with AfricaLive.net, stating "We are steadily preparing the country for the big time when it comes to business tourism.
"There is a lot of work being done to bring down emissions caused by air travel as tourists come into the country.
Most of our hotels have adopted international sustainability standards but we also have our own set of standards. We have the Seychelles sustainability label that we are working to put in place in every hotel.
These standards spell out the protocols to be followed when handling waste produced by hotels. They also give directions on handling wastewater, water, and energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy. There is also a ban on plastic bags, cutlery, plastic cups, and takeaway porcelain. We also have an ambitious target of protecting thirty percent of our marine space. We have protected twenty-six percent so far, and plan to complete the job by next year."
AfricaLive talks with Ms Nomasonto Ndlovu, CEO of the Limpopo Tourism Authority, on how the South African province can attract a greater share of African tourists. The province is stepping up marketing efforts to bring business tourists to the province. As Ms Ndlovy notes, where tourism goes trade will follow. Is tourism the gateway to increased trade for South Africa's provinces?
"We must rid ourselves of the colonial yokes of borders. Africans are one people and there should be unity. We don’t need these borders that were created to put in place mechanisms to control us. The regional groupings on the continent that have been formed such as the SADC and ECOWAS are precursors for a united Africa. A united Africa will boost interior engagement between countries."