How PUSH and PULL Factors Affecting Tanzania’s Travel and Tourism Growth in Global Performance?

Share this article


The travel and tourism sectors are amongst the most income-earning pillars of Tanzania’s economy. It is also one of the sectors employing a reasonable number of people. Therefore, its contribution is of uttermost potential in any measure possible, whereby the recent World Bank Report (WB, 2021) indicates that in Zanzibar, tourists account for 30% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The attractions available across the country are the cornerstone of this business, and the distribution of the activities across space and time determines its patterns.

On this note, the pull factor is controlling these destinations. Several icons are pulled elements of national tourism, such as the mighty Serengeti, Kilimanjaro Mountain, Zanzibar Island, etc.

Although in this discussion, the pull factors will be much favoured, the push factors are worth noting as they partially contribute to the flourishing of the sectors. Push factors are mostly conditions in the places of origin, making the tourists choose a specific destination and leave their domicile. In other words, some relatively harsh conditions or services do not meet the desires of the tourists.

For example, some people may travel to escape from their stressful work environment (a push factor) and enjoy a relaxing beach vacation (a pull factor). Others may travel to learn about different cultures and histories (a push factor) and visit famous landmarks and museums (a pull factor). General pull factors include better opportunities, security, freedom, education, and climate.

However, these desires are also controlled by personal preferences over amenities, which may be pretty diverse. As known, Tanzania’s tourism chief wildlife safari is on the top list. However, other options exist, such as beach tourism in the pristine waters of Zanzibar, Mafia, and Pemba Islands, without forgetting the longest coastal line on mainland Tanzania.

Since tourism is a diverse and dynamic phenomenon, it reflects the preferences, needs, and expectations of travellers and the characteristics, resources, and opportunities of destinations. Tourism can positively and negatively impact the origin and destination countries’ economic, social, cultural, and environmental aspects.

Also, read The Revival of Air Tanzania: An Economic Puzzle of Investments and Returns.

In that regard, so many types of tourism are based on travellers’ specific interests, motivations, or experiences. Herein, we shall delve into some of the tourism based on their inherent core aim for which one decides to travel to meet their needs. These include Business, adventure, wildlife, medical, cultural, pilgrimage, dark and culinary tourism.

In general terms, the global tourism sector is regulated by organizations that are involved in different focuses. Still, many other regional, national, and local authorities and agencies have specific roles and responsibilities regulating different aspects of tourism in their respective jurisdictions. Some of the organizations at the global level are the UN Tourism, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), and the World Health Organization (WHO), among others.

Other players have also played a critical role in boosting the tourism industry at a global scale and Tanzania inclusive. For example, Lonely Planet, a trusted travel resource, recognizes Tanzania’s allure. On the other hand, while it does not mention 2023, Trip Advisor also positioned Tanzania ahead of Mauritius and Kathmandu in Nepal as one of the top winners. Therefore, through these multiple bodies, Tanzania fell under global tourism lenses and promoted the industry.

What are the Major Strengths Boosting Tanzania in the Global Tourism Industry?

World-class destination: Regarding wildlife and safaris, Tanzania will be a world-renowned tourism destination in 2024, as Lonely Planet recognizes.

“This captivating East African country offers travellers a rich tapestry of experiences by boasting fascinating cultures, stunning wildlife, and iconic national parks. The Serengeti National Park is unforgettable, especially when witnessing the vast herds of animals during the Great Migration.” Besides that, in 2023, Tanzania stood out from all other countries and won the prize for the best wildlife safari destination in the world.

Pristine tranquillity:  Tanzania has the exotic island of Zanzibar, which boasts white sandy beaches, coral reefs, historic sites, and cultural diversity. Nobody will get it wrong by naming Zanzibar as the paradise of crystal-clear beaches and ambience hotels and resorts. Beyond beach tourism, Zanzibar also hosts a museum for the historical slave trade and the ruling of the Sultanate in the islands.

There are historical forts museums which one would not dare to miss exploring, not to mention the Kilimanjaro Mountain and the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which contains the largest intact volcanic caldera in the world and hosts a rich ecosystem of wildlife and Maasai people.

The classy management style: There are some local bodies for tourism management in Tanzania, such as the Tanzania Tourism Board (TTB), Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA) and Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO), including many others that play essential roles in the sector, such as district councils, local communities, private sector associations, academic institutions, media, and donors.

Tourism management in Tanzania requires effective coordination and collaboration among these diverse actors to ensure the sustainable development and growth of the sector. So far, these bodies are attempting to qualify their roles and make the travel and tourism sector more attractive and valuable.

Hospitality Culture: Tanzania has diverse and vibrant cultures and inborn hospitality branded under the Swahili culture umbrella with more than 120 tribes. Tanzania’s Swahili Coast is captivating, blending historical appeal, natural beauty, and a relatively stable political environment. On a global scale, rated in 2010 by National Geographic Channel/ Travel, the Swahili coast was 61 out of 99 destinations worldwide, attracting the most tourists.

It was mentioned to be an unspoiled destination by the coast, as deep down the country, there is a famous Maasai culture which stands as an icon through its styles of clothing and jewellery, while further exists the Hadzabe and Datoga hunter-gatherers remaining tribe in Africa. These icons, including aspects of foods and lifestyles across Tanzania, set a groundbreaking landmark, making Tanzania an outstanding destination.

Peace and harmony: Leaving alone the domestic political balance and understanding, Tanzania’s position in international politics and diplomatic lenses, the country is an exemplar among others. The unbreakable standards in the diplomatic and international image it has already set appeal enough to attract peace and harmony to tourists. There is no doubt that Tanzania is an island of peace and continues to remain in the hearts of those seeking to enjoy peace and harmony.

Even though the tourism sector performance in Tanzania is growing and shining reasonably, some inherent challenges are worth considering to ensure full functioning and adequate progress. These challenges must be addressed to transform tourism into a more sustainable, resilient, and inclusive sector in Tanzania.

Read related: An Influence From S!TE 2023 Expo: Innovative Technology Transforms Tanzania’s Tourism Industry.

The quick but smooth transformation from current poor technology in transport and communication. The available carrier, for example, is mainly based on fossil fuel transportation, which has a high potential for carbon emissions. Electrically powered vehicles are still at an infant stage while utilizing common carbon emissions-related facilities in the hotels and campus, except for a few that are transforming to cleaner technologies.

Poor marketing of tourist attractions is another hindrance to the prosperity of this sector. Although some efforts have been undertaken in various sources, it lags at premium level attention internationally where it could accrue maximum profit. The image of the country and its attractive features have been overshadowed by other competitors’ voices, making the tourists unsure of the heritage location and accessibility. Therefore, it has insufficient capital to speak and bold profitably in the same case.

Lastly, the sector is engulfed in poor and uncoordinated policies between the government and stakeholders. The uncoordinated regulations, fees, and taxes increase some unnecessary burdens among stakeholders and hinder the nourishing of the business. They create unfavourable conditions among the stakeholders and, to some extent, induce crimes and incidences of violence, which tarnish the image of the industry regardless of the significant efforts attempted to reorganize.

Given the current geopolitical situation and trends, Tanzania is standing an excellent chance to continue its undoubtful position and performance in international travel and tourism performance. Besides the wildlife safaris, we have much to boast beyond regular paths such as diplomatic tourism. This is a form of tourism which we can build on the existing peaceful relations, cultural understanding, and national image among countries.

It is a form of soft power that can influence the perceptions and attitudes of foreign publics and facilitate dialogue and cooperation among governments. Diplomatic tourism can take various forms, such as cultural exchanges, official visits, tourism promotion, and crisis management. Leveraging on existing infrastructures such as conference centres, housing the East Africa Union headquarters, a gateway for landlocked economies in East Africa, and the list goes on, the country’s potential can be stretched beyond the current stand to benefit the economy.

The tourism industry is continuing to reform, and under current global economic dynamics in all sectors, several other options, such as medical tourism, mining tourism, business tourism, and many others, are gaining momentum. The country should embrace this and pause so that these changes not only pass the negative impacts but also taper the benefits associated with the changes. Tanzania has explored the wildlife safaris and stands the best. While continuing to improve on the same, it should also cast a wide net to other types of tourism to avoid putting all eggs in one basket.

Therefore, as much as travel and tourism are vital sectors in Tanzania, they can generate economic growth, create jobs, preserve natural and cultural heritage, and foster social inclusion, which should not be ignored. However, tourism also faces many challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental degradation, security threats, and regulatory barriers, to mention a few.

To overcome these challenges and harness the potential of tourism, Tanzania needs to adopt a holistic and integrated approach that involves all stakeholders, such as governments, the private sector, civil society, and international organizations. Explicitly,” the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” Tanzania is trying to build on the next to attain prosperity in Global Tourism Branding.

Although the downfall resulted from the economic slump, global fuel crisis, and coronavirus pandemic, the recent trend of 2024 indicates substantial positive, sustainable recovery worth espousal.

Dr. Emanueli Ndossi, a seasoned EIA and EA Expert, directs J & Enviroconsult (T) Ltd, with over a decade of experience. His expertise covers Project Management, Monitoring, and Evaluation (M&E) for comprehensive environmental assessments. Dr. Ndossi, with impactful roles in WCST, TFCG, and the University of Queensland, has shaped conservation efforts work spans diverse sectors, contributing to sustainable practices in tourism and conservation. Dr. Ndossi holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science from the University of Göttingen and an M.Sc. in Environmental Management from the University of Queensland. His active engagement in organizations like ISIE, Carbon Lab, Soil Science Society of Germany, WCST, and FCC showcases his significant contributions to the environmental field.

5 2 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Leave a comment
scroll to top