Over 126 Million People to Be Employed Directly in The Tourism Sector By 2024

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Aviation is among the sectors that contribute much in global economy. It directly contributed $ 2.2 million of global GDP (that is 10% of global economy) in 2015 and provided over 108 million jobs globally. By 2024, The World Travel & Tourism Council expects the direct employment in tourism sector to be over 126 million globally.

Apart from aviation’s contribution to other sectors, it also plays a key role in tourism. Over 54% of international tourists travel the world through air transport.

Tourism as other services sectors has an important contribution in the sustainable economic development. If it is nurtured in responsible and strategic ways, tourism can contribute greatly in creating jobs while preserving our natural resources without depleting them. In Africa, it is estimated that over 5.8 million people are directly employed in areas that where receives a lot of foreigners coming from abroad, especially who comes via air.

However, there is a need for both governments and private sectors to sit together for fruitful discussions. The aim is to ensure the strategic development plans in this industry are implemented by considering environment preservation, community welfare as well as economical benefits it might bring along.

Tanzania under the current regime of President Magufuli, has experienced tremendous commitments in the aviation industry. Several initiatives have been made such as purchasing new airplanes, improving airports, air traffic as well as some reforms in the ministry in general.

Julius Nyerere International Airport

Recently, in his official government visit in Kagera he officiated the opening of a modern airport that not only opened up the region economically, but will also ease accessibility by tourists. The facilities at the airport now stand in the third position after those of Dar es Salaam and Kilimanjaro airports.

Speaking during the inauguration, President Magufuli noted that apart from facilitating easy business operations such as the transportation of fish from Lake Victoria and bananas from Bukoba, the airport will also open up the region in terms of tourism as now tourists will be able to land and have a chance to visit Burigi to see tourist attractions and so forth unlike before.

Meanwhile, in Chato situated in Geita region, the Minister of Works, Transport and Communication, Hon. Prof. Makame Mbarawa laid a foundation to officiate the construction of the airport, a project that will cost 39.15 billion Tanzanian shillings.

According to Prof. Makame, the government will make sure that every region has the airport that will be serving not less than 100 passengers.

He further noted that the government has already improved and strengthened construction in Lindi, Iringa, Moshi, and Simiyu airports. The aim is to facilitate them to accommodate effectively economic activities in those areas and it expects to allocate the budget in the coming financial year of 2017/2018 to conduct reviews in  Iringa, Musoma na Songea airports as well.

There are various efforts that could be done by the governments in supporting the growth of tourism sector. Apart from different governments spending much money in promoting their countries as destinations, there are other strategies that will go along way in facilitating the efforts. For instance, African governments should reduce the lengthy time currently being used to facilitate visa application by tourists, review various taxes charged to tourists entering or departing their countries as well as collaborate with other associations and stakeholders in the industry.

Generally, there is need for the government to conduct regular reviews within the aviation industry to ensure they meet demands of the current market. “This will ensure the industry continues to support the growth of tourism and bring economic benefits at large,” says Xavier Gerniers, Jumia Travel’s Country Manager, Tanzania.

By: Geoffrey Kijanga

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