UNESCO Eager to Promote Sustainable Tourism in Tanzania
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Dar es Salaam office in collaboration with Ngorongoro Conservation Area Authority (NCAA) has organized a four-day workshop at Karatu, Arusha region on the development of sustainable tourism.
The objective of the workshop was to build capacities among the major stakeholders on how to use tourism, a component which is a major drive for income to benefit people.
Talking to this Newspaper over the weekend, UNESCO country director Zulmira Rodriguez said the workshop was intended to help review NCA approach to one of the heritage areas of the world, Ngorongoro conservation area.
During the workshop, the participants visited different sites before brainstorming and come out with a strategic plan how to encompass everybody in the function to make tourism sustainable.
She said for a time now, the drive was in the conservation; but now the strategy should change to bring on board people who are in the area to take advantage of being part of the Ngorongoro Conservation area.
"We intend to build capacity... to help the population to get a huge chunk of the money which is pouring in the country... when you look at the crater you find there is plenty of cars with tourists... we want people who live in this area also to benefit ... " she said.
Encompassing three spectacular volcanic craters, the Olduvai Gorge, huge expanses of savannah, forest and bush land, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area is the flagship of Tanzania's tourism industry.
With more than 8,300 square kilometres, the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA) is also the only place on earth where mankind and wild animals coexist in harmony.
The NCA which started in 1971 and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1979, there is a feeling that the area which is multi-use, providing protection status for wildlife while also permitting human habitation, does not care the people.
With that knowledge intact, UNESCO has decided to help NCA build capacity and draw another development strategy to improve people's life while sustaining tourism which is a major component in income generation, by calling a workshop which involves all the stakeholders.
About 450,000 tourists visit Ngorongoro every year, accounting for 60 per cent of the average 770,000 tourists visiting Tanzania per annum.
James Banks, an expert advisor to UNESCO, speaking about the workshop he commended for the participation shows by different stakeholders expressing his satisfaction that the strategy will be useful for the management of Ngorongoro.
He said the outcome of the strategy will see tourism flourishing, benefiting not only the government but also the people who are within the conservation area.