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Global Travel Industry News has reported that there has been an increasing
number of violent attacks on tourists in Dar es Salaam (pictured), Tanzania,
citing a letter that it says was written by the Hotels Association of Tanzania.
The letter, which was sent to the permanent secretary in the Ministry of
Natural Resources and Tourism, states: “On behalf of our members in Dar es
Salaam, we wish to bring to your attention a rise in numbers as well as
severity in physical assaults on tourists and the general public around hotels
and restaurants in the city centre as well as in Masaki.” The letter went on to
draw attention to several incidents that occurred in one week in May – one on
each night of the week – and each one close to a well-established hotel.



The
UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office states on its travel advice for Tanzania:
“Although most visits to Tanzania are trouble-free, violent and armed crime is
increasing, with incidents reported both on the mainland, Zanzibar and the
islands. Muggings, bag grabs (especially from passing cars) and robberies,
including forced withdrawal from ATMs, sometimes armed and accompanied by
violence or the threat of violence, have increased throughout Tanzania
especially in areas frequented by backpackers and expatriates.”

The
US State Department warned its citizens of a particular scam that has been
reported by tourists and expats in Tanzania, whereby ‘a US citizen is
approached by a Tanzanian gentleman (usually dressed in western style clothing
– baseball cap, jeans, t-shirt, sneakers) who appears to speak very good
English. He sees the US citizen waiting for transportation and offers to have
his friend who is a taxi cab driver take  the traveller to their
destination. Once in the vehicle, the US citizen is threatened by the Tanzanian
gentleman and driver to hand over money from their bank accounts as well as
personal belongings’. The organisation added: “A continuing concern is Tourè
Drive on Msasani Peninsula in Dar es Salaam. Tourè Drive is the beachfront road
from the Sea Cliff Hotel into town, which provides an inviting view of the
ocean. There are regular reports of daytime muggings, pick-pocketing, and theft
from cars, and the road continues to be an area of concern any time of day on
foot or by car. US government personnel are expressly advised to avoid walking
or running along Tourè Drive. In Arusha, the high number of foreign tourists
attracts pickpockets and bag snatchers.” The Sea Cliff Hotel is also
mentioned in the letter from the Hotels Association of Tanzania, which cited an
incident involving tourists walking back to the Sea Cliff Hotel.

The
Canadian Foreign Affairs and International Trade website warned its citizens:
“Violent crime has increased throughout [Tanzania]. Exercise a high degree of
caution, especially in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar, and in public places such as
hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, cinemas, and shopping centres. Muggings,
attacks, and hold-ups occur occasionally in Stone Town and in the immediate
vicinity of the coastal resorts on Unguja. You should be vigilant, particularly
in Stone Town after dark.” The Australian Smart Traveller website issued very
similar advice.

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