Tanzania takes the fight to woo Chinese tourists to China’s tuff and opens a WeChat account

Tanzania President, John Magufuli (L) is all laughter at a past function.
  • Tanzania is now going digital as it moves to attract more Chinese tourists to the country. 
  • The Tanzanian embassy in China has already created a website complete with an online booking platform specifically for promoting Tanzania’s tourism services in China using 5G technology.
  • In 2018, Chinese tourists to Tanzania rose to 30,000 in from 13,760 counted in the previous five years.

Tanzania has decided to play by China’s rules in its bid to woo Chinese tourists to the East African nation.

Tanzania is now going digital as it moves to attract more Chinese tourists to the country.

Tanzania’s ambassador to China Mr. Mbelwa Kairuki, who met members of Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) in the country’s northern tourism circuit capital of Arusha recently, said the country should meet Chinese tourists on their own turf, which is online.

“A WeChat account will make it easy for communication with Chinese customers,” Mr Kairuki said. “The embassy is liaising with different players to create the platform,” the envoy added.

Mr Kairuki said the Tanzanian embassy in China has already created a website complete with an online booking platform specifically for promoting Tanzania’s tourism services in China using 5G technology. The website will host a reservation and booking app, Chinese social media apps and offer marketing and advertising space.

“The embassy is, in addition, liaising with a marketing firm in Shanghai to promote the website on the Chinese social media platforms,” said Mr Kairuki, who is also accredited to Vietnam, Mongolia and the Democratic Republic of Korea.

All tourism players in Tanzania are expected to market themselves through the website. Tanzanian companies will therefore be expected to have WeChat QR codes on the website.

Tourism investors will be expected to pay for the platform for at least six months.

“The embassy urges all players to participate in the three-day China Outbound Travel and Tourism Market beginning on April 1,” he added.

China has a vast tourist market and its not hard to see why Tanzania is breaking its back to get a slice. Statistics by China Tourism Academy, a think tank under the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, shows the country has the world’s outbound tourism market, with 157 million Chinese nationals projected to visit other countries or regions this year alone.

In 2018, Chinese tourists to Tanzania rose to 30,000 in from 13,760 counted in the previous five years. According to the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) study, approximately 4.31 million Chinese visited Africa in 2018.

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