Known as the home to Africaâ€™s most spectacular national parkÂ Serengeti,Â and one of western world most preferred destination,Â Tanzaniaâ€™s is blessed with diverse natural settings. The country of estimated 45 million people is famous for itsÂ hospitality industryÂ and most lovely people in Africa. Despite the rich cultural heritage, Tanzania has the capability of becoming aÂ golfing destination. Statistics from theÂ International Association of Golf Tour OperatorsÂ estimates thatÂ golf tourism marketÂ is worth well over US$17 billion. The recent data indicate that over ten percent of the estimated 56.5 million people who play golf globally travel annually overseas for the purpose of playing the game. Home to tens of golf courses with a wide variety of layouts, Tanzania can become East Africaâ€™s top golfing destination and perhaps only second to South Africa in Africa if those responsible can focus on potential the country has.
When I met a tours and travel company CEO from northern Tanzaniaâ€™s city of Arusha, she informed me that Tourism industry stakeholders in Tanzania have added golf to the category of special interest tourism that will be further developed and promoted in a bid to attract foreign golfers. Â There is no doubt that the number of golf tourists to Tanzania is not as many as regular tourists who netted the country more than $1.5 billion last year but I strongly agree with the tour company bloke that golfing is a niche that has high yield market. He also informed me that working with the private sector to upgrade the golf courses in the country as well as participating in golf events could promote his county as golf destinations. Although he admitted that only a couple of golf courses in the country have met international golfing standards, some of the courses are back dropped by spectacular features mountains likeÂ Kilimanjaro Golf and Wildlife EstateÂ that comprises an 18-hole championship golf course, oceans, lakes, forests and city skylines, strengthening Tanzaniaâ€™s position as a potential golf destination.
Although as a stakeholder he could not exactly identify the number of golfers visiting Tanzania, his estimates was that each golfer spends an average of $1,500 to $3,000 during their golfing holiday in Tanzania, higher than a regular tourist who spends around $500 â€“ $1500. What Tanzania need to do is to aggressively promote itself as a golf attractions whenever the stakeholders participates in tourism shows and exhibition and can even go an extra mile to provide incentives to golfers such as tax incentives. Tourism ministry in the country also need to work with golf operators and regional as well as international airlines who could allow golfing passengers to bring their golf equipment at no extra cost, to attract high number of travelers.African countries have been witnessing increased interest from European golfers and that offers big potential golfing tourism market for countries like Tanzania. In South Africa, the continentâ€™s topÂ golf tourism destinationÂ has seen tour operators and hotels have played a key role in helping the rainbow nation to jump on the golf tourism bandwagon. With full support of Tanzanian governmentâ€™s, the country could become one of preferred golfing tourism destinations.