By Our correspondents-MAELEZO
THE number of tourist arrivals in Tanzania has rose rapidly despite the
Critics had it that the number of tourist arrivals in the country would have gone done thanks to the decision by the government to impose VAT during the financial year 2016/17.
Minister of Tourism and Natural Resources Prof Jumanne Maghembe revealed at a live telecast “TUNATEKELEZA” aired with the cooperation between Tanzania Broadcasting Corporation (TBC) and Tanzania Information Service (MAELEZO).
"Despite blames in tourism industry after the government started to levy Value Added Tax (VAT) in the tourism industry, but I can assure you, right now tourists have increased in earnings have grown by 22 percent more," said Minister Maghembe.
Minister Maghembe says, apart from different perspective of stakeholders in tourism industry tax increases that does affect many tourists especially given that Tanzania remains and unique attractions around.
"Our country has many tourist attractions that are not in any other country, This includes peace, hospitality and stability prevailing in the country, no tourist will be unable to cover the increase of only eight dollars, "said Minister Maghembe.
He also spent time explaining that his research in foreign countries demonstrates that Tanzania embassies leads in issuing visas for tourists compared to other countries in the regions of East Africa, especially in big cities like Berlin.
Referring to the fight against poaching, Minister Maghembe said government efforts to invest in training and modern equipment also borne fruit after a decline in poaching significantly.
He said the Government has already suspected the biggest network of poaching and they have been arrested and while some have been sentenced to jail, He referred to one of the suspects of the network's biggest foreign nationals known by the name of "MALKIA WA PEMBE ZA NDOVU" and is in custody now.
"In this battle we have decided to consider poaching as terrorism or sabotage the economy. And we have arrested poacher’s bosses and their sponsors and still we continue to monitor and any time we will arrest them, "he said.
He added that the government also banned the harvesting of forest products, particularly logs without license and those would do so will be arrested, wealthy and particular car will be nationalized and the victims will be taken before court.
Statistics of tourists increased gives strength to the government of President Magufuli because since he has been in power he was stressing the importance of collecting taxes for the nation to be independent. In contrast to this attitude, some people do not believe that's possible.