Visitors intending to travel to Tanzania have been assured of their safety as the government takes measures to heighten security in the country’s territorial waters and other tourist destinations.
Speaking at the opening of natural resources sector review meeting in Dar es Salaam on Thursday, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Ezekiel Maige, said Tanzania continued to be one of Africa’s safest destinations.
“In addition to the regular security measures, the country has reinforced protection measures such that security apparatus, the police, the army and others are closely working with my ministry to guarantee security to all destinations,” Maige explained.
The minister said recent kidnapping incidents of tourists hundreds of miles from Tanzania’s territorial borders should not be cause for panic or cancellation of travel plans to the country.
“We would, therefore, like to assure all our esteemed visitors intending to travel to Tanzania at any time that they are welcome and will be safe,” he insisted.
Hardly two weeks ago six gunmen stormed a private house on the island of Manda on Kenya’s northern coast in the early hours of Saturday, grabbed 66-year-old Marie Dedieu, a French woman, on a wheel chair, and carried her to a waiting boat that crossed into Somalia.
Analysts and diplomats in the region had warned that Somali pirates were likely to turn to softer targets such as tourists, in response to more vigorous defence of merchant vessels by private security guards.
Early last month, gunmen attacked British tourists at a resort camp in Lamu, Kenya, killing a man and kidnapping his wife, thereafter disappearing in a speedboat.
Hotel operators fear more tourists may cancel their bookings due to their governments’ travel warnings that threatened the sector especially at the climax of the June – October high season.
Meanwhile, the minister spoke about the significant contribution of development partners to the performance of the sector saying that the sense of care for the country’s resources should be emulated and sustained.
“We have to take responsibility to make sure that the available scarce resources are used sustainably for the benefit of all citizens,” he said.
Source: Daily News