Cultural Tourism in Tanzania

maasai-danceCultural Tourism within Tanzania continues to develop since 1996, beneath the stewardship of Tanzania Tourist Board – TTB together with the Ministry of Natural Resources & Tourism along with the Netherlands Development Organization. Cultural Tourism was started by the youth in the local community of Northern Tanzania. This product originated as an outcome of the Maasai youth group which used to perform cultural dances alongside the safari road in Northern Tanzania leading to Lake Manyara, Serengeti, and Ngorongoro which are the leading tourist attractions within that area. Throughout these volunteering dances, they would acquire some tips from tourists for a vibrant entertainment.

As it turned out to be popular, this youth group discovered that, they are not gaining enough by lacking a formal way of selling their cultural product. The group decided to seek assistance from SNV who were by that time doing a number of development projects in the Maasai land. SNV contacted the Ministry of Natural Resources & Tourism to determine how alliance could be forged to improve the product.

Tanzania had to outline its cultural tourism product in order to be more specific. In Tanzania’s context the cultural tourism employs a community-based tourism strategy where the people are instantly involved in planning, organizing tours as well as showing tourists parts of their lives in the region they reside in. Although economic benefit comes from this activity, many cross cultural swapping between guests and the local residents is likewise developed.

The target was and is to improve and market cultural excursions, arranged by local people within their natural environment in which they stay. Cultural Tourism development adopted a strategy of Sustainable Pro-poor Tourism. It is a way of carrying out tourism to ensure that it concentrates particularly on opening possibilities for the poor to gain more in tourism, instead of expanding the general size of the industry.

At the moment there are more than Forty seven Cultural Tourism Enterprises which TTB has assisted setting up. Simply the Enterprises operate as a complete band of products which involve various cultural plus natural attractions, different activities plus providing services in a specified local community. The Enterprises offer employment plus income generating possibilities to local communities within rural areas in Tanzania thus lowering migration from villages to town. There have been around twenty percent increase in arrivals annually. In the last Fifteen years Mto wa Mbu Cultural Tourism Enterprise has experienced a significant increase in arrivals plus revenues collected. The majority of these enterprises concentrate on providing cultural experiences like: experiencing the lifestyle of the people, traditional dances and ceremonies, tasting of local cuisines, day-to-day homestead chores as well as home-stays, handicrafts, community development projects, native knowledge, local folklores, historical heritage as well as nature walks.

The Cultural Tourism Programme offers guests in Tanzania the opportunity to visit tribal areas to meet the local people as well as experience their customary lifestyle. Through such programmes, guests additionally experience local attractions plus scenery of countryside Tanzania.

This is a satisfying experience to leave your safari vehicle behind and ascend the mountains of the farming tribes in northern Tanzania to observe how coffee is cultivated by the subsistence farmers or to walk over the plains to enjoy the rich traditions of the pastoral tribes whose traditions are closely connected to nature plus wildlife.