TANZANIA has scooped the Best Destination to the World award in the Exotic Destination 2018 category in a poll conducted by the Russian travel guide, the National Geographic Magazine.

According to a statement released yesterday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Tanzania’s ambassador to Russia, Maj. Gen. (rtd) Simon Mumwi, received the award on behalf of the country in Moscow yesterday.

“Tanzania has emerged tops in the category in the National Geographic Magazine online voting, in which 263,000 voters took part,” reads the statement in part.

According to the statement, it is the third time in a span of seven years since 2011 that Russian citizens have massively voted Tanzania as their preferred tourist destination.

In 2011, Zanzibar won the Star Travel award as the best beach destination in Africa, and last year Tanzania won second place in the National Geographic Traveller Awards which is the most prestigious in Russia.

“The success is due to efforts made by the government via our embassy in Russia, ministries in charge of tourism in both mainland and Zanzibar, and all organs dealing with promotion of tourism,” says the statement.

Through the promotion efforts, the statement noted that the number of tourists from Russia has increased from 4,021 in 2012 to 10,060 in 2017.

“The ministry through our embassy in Moscow will double the promotion efforts and we hope that by working together with other agencies, the number of tourists from Russia will keep on increasing,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, Tanzania launched a road show in Hong Kong with the aim of attracting more Chinese tourists and investors in the country.

Last year, China ranked eighth in terms of tourist numbers with more than 29,000 travellers visiting the country during the year.

“We do believe the number of tourists from China will triple in the coming year,” said Tanzania Tourist Board (TTB) managing director Devota Mdachi at last Friday’s road show.

The event was co-organized by TTB, the Tanzanian embassy in China, and the country’s honorary consulate in Hong Kong and Macao.

The deputy permanent secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism, Aloyce Nzuki told participants that as one of the participating countries in the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China, Tanzania invites investment and partnership in the areas of resources, market and efficient seeking industries, petrochemical and energy intensive industries, food processing industries, and hospitality industries.

Annie Wu, honorary consul of the United Republic of Tanzania in Hong Kong and Macao, noted that Tanzania and China have “enjoyed excellent bilateral relations in the past 54 years” since the collaboration to build the Tanzania-Zambia (TAZARA) railway.

After Hong Kong, the road show is set to proceed to Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, and Beijing.

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