Published on : Wednesday, October 4, 2017
The credit was approved by the International Development Association, the arm of the World Bank Group that works in the world’s poorest countries, through the Resilient Natural Resource Management for Tourism and Growth Project (REGROW).
REGROW’s development objective is to improve the management of natural resources and tourism assets in important areas of southern Tanzania, and to increase access to alternative livelihood activities for targeted communities.
The project will also focus towards reducing human-wildlife conflicts and increasing resilience to climate vulnerability and change, and also work towards safeguarding water flows from the Great Ruaha River into the Ruaha National Park.
“Tourism is a key element of Tanzania’s economy, contributing to roughly 10 percent of GDP in 2015,” said Bella Bird, the World Bank Country Director for Tanzania, Malawi, Somalia and Burundi.
She said that although Tanzania is famous for its world renowned biodiversity and wildlife attractions, most people tend to be familiar with just its northern circuit.
“The assets of the southern circuit can increase the number of tourists arriving to the country, thus increasing economic benefits and promoting wildlife conservation. For this to happen, infrastructure and services need to be improved, and the destination needs to be further promoted to potential visitors,” said Bird.
Apart from being a major source of revenue for the government, tourism also provides well-remunerated direct employment to over 400,000 Tanzanians.